In my last blog I wrote about my experience of the Post-excavation process, specifically in the Finds department. In addition to this, I’ve also had the opportunity to work in an even more unfamiliar area; the Environmental Archaeology department.
I’d known from time on digs that soil samples were taken but had never given much thought to the purpose of this or to what became of these samples. During my week in Environmental, I had the opportunity to work through each stage of the process of separating out the samples in order to isolate the environmental materials that the Environmental team will analyse (the sciencey bit) and to save any finds. If I thought I was getting muddy and damp in finds it was nothing compared to my time in Environ. which initially involved sieving outside to lose the unwanted soil from the sample whilst trying not to spray myself with the hose!
I really enjoyed my time in the Environmental department as it was completely different from anything I’ve done before and gave me a glimpse at the more scientific elements of archaeology. It was good to know a bit about why big buckets of dirt are collected on-site rather than just unquestioningly accepting it! It’s quite a contrast being back in my nice dry office for the last bit of my internship which I’ll write about in my next ‘farewell’ blog!