Hi, my name is Bob Clarke and I’ve just joined the team as a Research Manager in Post-excavation. I originate from Scarborough, North Yorkshire, although I’ve been ‘down south’ for the last 34 years.
I have been involved in archaeology for over 20 years − primarily in Wiltshire but more recently across the South-West. In that time, I’ve filled a number of professional, educational and voluntary roles, a key one being site archaeologist at MoD Boscombe Down. The position encompassed a wide range of inputs; from consultation through to mitigation via watching briefs and full excavation. This ran alongside my other job, the Aviation Curriculum Managers post for the training centre on site. Working with military and aviation archaeology assisted my Doctoral thesis which investigated the role of secrecy in the landscape and introduced a new theoretical approach to the material culture encountered on once-secret sites. My first degree, in Education, focused on curriculum and course design in adult education − utilising archaeology courses delivered in the FE sector. Between 2000-2008 I was Lead Tutor for Archaeology at the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University of Bath, designing and delivering first-year undergraduate courses.
On top of that I am a member of the editorial team for the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine, currently covering reviews and excavation and fieldwork reports, and was, until 2016, subject matter expert for Ex Historia, the in-house journal of the University of Exeter. I have received commissions to author for Tempus Publishing, The History Press and Amberley Publishing – recently exceeding 1 million words in print. The subjects are eclectic, but focus mainly on aspects of the archaeology of the 20th century. My research interests are 20th century landscapes of order and power; the material culture of conflict; aviation archaeology (I was an aircraft maintenance specialist for 30 years); the Wiltshire Landscape and making archaeology as accessible as possible to as many members of the population as possible. Beyond archaeology I spend time with my granddaughter, Martha (2.5 years old), and collect original Punk and New Wave vinyl – something of an obsession if I’m honest. I am a great believer in staff development and the promotion of heritage to all areas of the community and look forward to helping with both during my time at Wessex.
By Bob Clarke, Research Manager