At the end of July 2019, I had the opportunity to transfer to the Edinburgh office from Sheffield. This has given me numerous opportunities to broaden my skills and gain experience of different aspects of the job while working with a new team of people.

While in Scotland, I’ve worked on a number of different jobs including watching briefs and evaluation schemes. It’s also given me the opportunity to take on the responsibility of running jobs on a few occasions.

As well as our commercial work, I have also been involved in two community projects, working alongside the public and ex-armed forces volunteers. These were both great experiences of excavating interesting archaeology with genuinely engaged and well-informed volunteers.

Excavations at Otterburn camp Excavations at Barry Buddon camp, which Sam took part in during his time at the Edinburgh office

The first site on Otterburn Camp (above left) focused on evaluating three possibly prehistoric features. Although all but one of the features turned out to be insignificant, the volunteers' interest and enthusiasm really made the project worthwhile. 

The second site at Barry Buddon Camp (above right) had us returning to excavate a series of practice trenches likely dating to the First World War. We worked alongside a group of ex-armed forces volunteers to open four small areas to investigate the trench system. The volunteers brought a wealth of knowledge and experience, all engaging well with the archaeology and working extremely hard to finish all the trenches in our two-week season.

 In conclusion, my secondment to the Edinburgh office has given me the chance to develop my skills as an archaeologist alongside a great team of people.

Sam Birchall