After learning about the Bulford excavation during the Introduction to Archaeology Day at the Salisbury Office, the students on Jon Egging Trust’s Blue Skies Programme were thrilled to get the chance to visit the site and meet the fieldwork team. They spent the day working in pairs, learning how to excavate small features, accurately plan to scale, and survey using a dumpy level. Some also got the chance to sieve spoil from the excavated features to see if they could find anything of interest. It was great to see how quickly they picked up the various skills and techniques, and how enthusiastically the teams functioned.
One student, Megan, spent some time in the afternoon interviewing her peers; from her journalistic skills it is clear that discovering finds was the highlight of many of the students’ day. When Shyla was asked what she liked about archaeology her response was "finding bones and flint”, and KC answered “I enjoyed sieving”. Isaac was surprised that "by just looking at mud you can find out a lot”, which was echoed by Devon, who expressed his surprise at finding a piece of prehistoric burnt flint. Some of the students excelled in identifying finds, using their knowledge gained in the previous session, and in particular from Phil Harding’s flint knapping demonstration.
The archaeology sessions have enabled the students to continue developing their work skills, offering them the chance to interact with new people in novel environments, and helping them to recognise their own strengths, as well as those of others.
They should all feel very proud of what they have achieved. Many thanks to all those involved!