As a child, the best thing I ever found when digging up the garden was an old Boy Scout’s scarf toggle with a lovely wolf’s head on it, so you can imagine my delight when I was introduced to finds processing and let loose on some finds from a real archaeological dig. To pick up a mud encrusted piece of pottery and carefully clean it up to reveal a charming willow pattern was pretty good, but to pick up a soil ridden piece of bone and clean it up to reveal a rat skull, that was even better! This was a rewarding task which I thoroughly enjoyed.
This week we were told that Sheffield Museum was ready to take one of our completed projects; my first task was to ensure that the project archive met the specific museum guidelines and that everything was in its place. This was a fulfilling task for me as it cemented the importance of adhering to those guidelines and gave me more of an insight as to what makes up the finds and documentary archive for each project.
As a follow on from last week’s organisational documentary archive overhaul, it was important that we maintained order to the finds archives as well and this week we have begun to undertake that task. Moving heavy boxes around doesn’t sound like greatest fun you can have but when you open up a lid and behold a 3000 year old stone axe head, that is pretty thrilling! Even though the weather outside feels almost tropically hot for Sheffield I’d much rather be in amongst the boxes, files and finds of Wessex Archaeology!
By Emma Carter