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Coastal & Marine Intern - Month 1

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I have now finished my fourth week working with the Coastal & Marine department at Wessex Archaeology, and so far I am thoroughly enjoying my time here, and importantly I’m learning new things each day. Currently the work I have undertaken in this short time has exceeded my expectations in terms of both opportunity and responsibilities. I can’t cover everything I’ve been up to in this blog, but I’ll provide a summary of some of the more foremost tasks.
 
I’ve been given the responsibility of re-homing finds from the London Gateway dredging project, currently stored here in Salisbury, to a multitude of museums. I’ve been speaking to the museums about how they want the finds to be delivered and how they are going to care for and display them upon arrival. The finds range from leather boots and plates to cannon and aircraft wreckage with a mixture of wet and dry finds. Working with Lynn Wootten, our resident conservator (and my lifesaver), to ensure the safe packaging and movement of the finds has been a very informative lesson, and I’m still yet to move an artefact.
 
As part of the archaeological protocols set up with offshore renewable energy industry, I took a trip to Grimsby with Peta Knott to give a talk on the archaeological protocols and the possible finds that workers in this industry may encounter. Having previously worked with young children in outreach and witnessed their enthusiasm, it was great to see project managers have similar enthusiasm and interest when handed something such as a cannonball or mammoth tusk. Additionally to this, on the topic of enthusiasm, we took a side trip to the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre which is without doubt one of the best museums I’ve visited. Watching our 76 year old tour guide fly around a fishing trawler like a 20 year old free-runner was a sight to remember. 
 
The highlight of my time so far, was being invited to sit in on the talks with Historic England about the work Wessex will undertake in the upcoming diving season. I have also met the maritime designation advisor from Historic England, which gave me a great insight into the relationship between both HE and Wessex when it comes to the study and potential designation of wrecks in our waters.
 
A bonus was my first dive with the C&M team at Vobster Quay Dive Centre, which I have to say has got me itching to get back into the water, even though it was 7 degrees. And with an upcoming course in Personal Survival Techniques and further pre-season dive training, I am getting evermore excited to see how the diving season develops.
 
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