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Work Experience

 

3488 This was me cleaning the edge of a ditch

My name is Euan O’Neill and I decided to do my work experience at Wessex Archaeology in Sheffield. I am 15 and I have had an interest in the study of Archaeology for some time now because both my parents were involved in the subject and my dad and brother work in archaeology.
 
I didn’t know quite what I would expect in a working environment for the first time so I was eager to try it out. I contacted the company and was put in touch with Lucy Dawson, a project manager. She told me what I would be doing and all the requirements. We went through all the Health and Safety measures and I was given a basic two-week calendar with my working times on it. I was going to be out on site at Rossington for much of my period of work. I was interested to see what I would find waiting for me.
 
On my first day, I was taught how to clean, process and sort finds in the basement floor of the building. These finds consisted mainly of different types of bone and pottery. It was a slow process at first but I soon got better at it over the course of the day. At lunch time, I was fitted with my PPE gear so that I would be ready to go out on site the next day.
 
My first day on site. I woke up and had to get to the office for 7 am to get on a bus taking us to the site. The drive took about an hour but when I got there I got a general introduction, I learnt about what a cut, fill, and feature is, what I would be doing and how to do it. The other people on site were very helpful, giving me tips and highlighting confusing information but I got the gist of it after a short amount of time. Rossington is a Romano-British site but we were unsure on what date it was from and when it was active/used. I was asked to dig a marked posthole before moving onto a terminal. The posthole was easy enough because it was filled with soft clay, but the area where the terminal was located had been hardened because it was baked by the sun and was very difficult to mattock considering I had just started. I was taught how to fill out context forms as well as sketch my feature and record drawings and photographs. On my second day out on site, I got to watch a drone survey the area for a small amount of time but it was still really cool. I enjoyed this work however, I found it interesting and fun in some ways. I went out onto site for a third day and I also dug a ditch filled with some bones and the most pottery I had seen yet! I had to spend Friday in the office because one of my school teachers was sent to see how I was doing (every school student doing work experience is visited by a teacher).
 
We talked about the past week’s work and how later that afternoon I would be doing some environmental processing. At this point, I was happy with everything I had done so far and I couldn’t wait for my second week. I think that the best part of my first week was just being out on site; it was different than a usual day.
 
 By Euan O’Neill
 
 
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