Today’s blog has been written by Ben, a student volunteering on Op Nightingale, about his experiences on site:

As a student working my way through 6th form, History has always been one of my favourite subjects. The fact that I can learn about the exploits of our ancestors and the events that have built up to create the world we live in has always sparked my curiosity.

Being given the chance to volunteer with Operation Nightingale and assist in the rehabilitation of injured soldiers; whilst gaining first hand experience of the archaeological excavations of Anglo-Saxon burials and Neolithic contexts has been fantastic.

The site, much larger than I anticipated, has already borne multiple burial sites with incredibly intact skeletons (aside from the occasional bit of badger damage) and a variety of other items.

Having no prior experience in the field of Archaeology (other than the occasional sweep through fields with my metal detector) and having little knowledge of Neolithic history; I was a tad apprehensive about the work I would be doing. But after a warm welcome from the crew here I found myself working through soil and chalk contexts. Even finding a well preserved flint flake and a possible Neolithic cutting tool. Its hard work but the feeling earned after a discovery is priceless.

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