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Coastal & Marine Intern – Month 2

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So it’s about time that I posted an update on what I have been doing here at Wessex. For the past couple of weeks I have been given a full refresher in object recording. With large numbers of finds from the London Gateway dredging project due to be leaving for their respective museums, a variety of finds needed recording using various techniques. I was given the responsibility of selecting the best methods to record each find based on my own judgement. Some finds were drawn, measured, photographed and were recorded through photogrammetry, while others just needed a basic timber record and photograph. Finds drawing, measuring and photography is nothing new to me, but photogrammetry was something I’d not done before. It took me several attempts and a little bit of assistance from other staff within Wessex Archaeology to get it right, but I would now say I am confident to produce 3D records of objects. The sheer number of finds and the assortment of materials that I had to deal with made it a true hands on learning experience. Now the next stage begins – packing. All of the finds destined for museums now have to be properly packed and prepared for their journey with the advice of Lynn Wootten, our resident conservator.
 
Others tasks in recent weeks have involved the archaeological protocols, namely the Marine Aggregate Protocol for the Reporting Finds of Archaeological Interest. Finds are reported to us by the dredging companies and our task is to identify the object, report it to the Receiver of Wreck, plus write up a few paragraphs to report back to the workers on the wharfs and vessels. The details of the finds are also reporting to the National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) and the local Historic Environment Records (HER). I’ve now done several of these, ranging from cannonball, to mammoth tooth, to a CO2 temperature gauge from a ship’s fire extinguishing system. It’s still early in the year so many more are to be expected.
 
Other than the finds recording and protocols, for the last few weeks I have just been settling into my new job well, already slowly filling my desk with paper work. Loving the job so far, I am still learning so much, but also using the knowledge and skills that I gained from my Masters degree, and with the sun now trying to appear though the grey skies, bring on the summer diving season!
 
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