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Field Archaeologist Intern - Week 3

My third week with Wessex Archaeology was a little different to what I had expected. Monday marked the beginning of excavations with the children from Tinsley Junior School supervised by my colleague Ash with invaluable assistance from Sally, and volunteers Chris and Richard, Georgina, April, Louisa, Emily and Del. I was fairly nervous to begin with as I had never taught children in such large groups before, but thankfully the project was all planned perfectly and Sally was there to help with the groups of children whilst I tried to focus on the digging. She had been teaching the children about Tinsley Manor and its estate since the beginning of the academic year which meant that the children understood the historical context of the site and how the excavation could further our understanding of its development through the centuries.
It was really rewarding to watch the children pick up archaeological techniques throughout the week, and start to identify deposits and artefacts. Towards the end of the week we got a visit from the local MP Clive Betts who has been supporting the project from its inception and even tried his hand with a bit of digging! Working on a longer project for two weeks, in this case a community and education project, rather than just a few days, has given me the opportunity to see a site develop from setup through to excavation and also the potential benefits in community participation and in involving children in archaeology from a young age.
By Hannah Holbrook
The project team Richard O’Neill (WA), Sally Rodgers (Heeley City Farm) and Laura Chambers (Tinsley Junior School) with Clive Betts MP and Y5 children.


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