Over the past four weeks I have had the amazing opportunity to carry out a work placement with the Geoarchaeology & Environmental Archaeology department. Previously knowing little about this area of archaeology, I have learnt an incredible amount about the work that is carried out here and I hope to keep learning more now that my placement is over.
In my first week I had the chance to do some processing with Tony; samples from around the head area (of an inhumation) produced fragments from a human skull on my first day! It was really interesting to learn about how samples with charcoal, seeds, and molluscs, amongst other things, can help to unlock the past.
Before I started my main project I had a fantastic day down in the Finds department. I was able to get out a toothbrush and clean human bone, which was surprisingly relaxing!
For the rest of my placement I was involved with the Geoarchaeology department, with Holly, who was incredibly supportive and taught me a lot of cool stuff. My project involved producing deposit models for the Battersea Channel Project, which is a collaboration between Historic England, Wessex and other archaeological units working in the Nine Elms area. I also had the chance to interpret borehole cores; getting my hands muddy was really fun! We found some cool items within the cores, including a hazelnut shell.
I used Rockworks to log boreholes from BGS, before I created the deposit models. Creating these and interpreting the data made the hard work of entering all the borehole data into Rockworks worthwhile.
I have had the most amazing summer here; I feel as though I have contributed to important work, and I have learnt a lot of new information which I can’t stop sharing with my family and friends! Thank you to Wessex Archaeology, especially the Geoarchaeology and Environmental Archaeology department, for welcoming me, and to everybody who helped me throughout my project and provided support. I am going to miss being here.
By Corrina Begley