Monday, 22 July 2013

Scotland: Rise in number of items being handed to the Treasure Trove Unit in 2012-13

According to the Scotman there were 316 cases in Scotland of historical items being handed over to the Treasure Trove Unit in 2012-13, up from 152 the previous year. The unit aims to ensure significant or important finds are kept for the nation and go on show in museums.

The finders were given payments ranging from £5 to £10,000 as a reward, depending on the value of the items. These payments totalled £36,510 last year, with most of them being for a few hundred pounds.

Read more from the Scotsman here

Friday, 19 July 2013

Major Archaeological Discovery in Lima Peru

With the recent discovery of the 1,200-year-old "Temple of the Dead" burial chamber at El Castillo de Huarmey, history enthusiasts have yet another reason to put Peru on their global map.

Filled with precious gold and silver funeral offerings, as well as the ancient remains of 63 Peruvians, the significant discovery is the first unlooted tomb of the ancient South American Wari civilisation from 700 to 1,000 A.D.

The extraordinary tomb provides an intriguing insight into pre-Incan culture, with more than 1,000 artefacts uncovered in the space, including gold and silver jewellery, bronze axes and gold tools.

Read more here:

Tower of London Holds Archaeology Weekend

Aspiring archaeologists and fans are being invited to join in on a free event held by the Tower of London this weekend!

The free event will allow participants to dig for Tudor pottery, medieval coins and Roman artefacts at Tower Beach.
The event coincides with the 2013 Festival of British Archaeology!  There will also be displays, talks and games from the Tower of London’s curators.
This is the only time of the year when the Tower of London bridge is open to the Public and it's a great opportunity to get involved in the local history.
It will be held from 11am-4pm on Saturday (July 27) and Sunday (28).

Read more here:

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Sara Boyle: Archaeology Career Interview

We caught up with Sara Boyle, a Phd student at Queen's University Belfast to ask her about her career so far...

Where did you graduate and what are you doing now?
I graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a BSc in Archaeology and Palaeoecology in 2007. I really enjoyed the landscape archaeology element of the degree so I decided complete an MSc in Landscape, Heritage and Environment at Queen’s University, graduating in 2009. Following this, I took a year out of academia to work in the Ulster Museum as a Discovery Centre Facilitator where I helped the general public engage with interactive exhibits and took school groups for set lessons. As fun as this was, I missed the academic side of archaeology and in 2010 I began a PhD (at Queen’s again!) which looked to reconstruct prehistoric settlement activity on the Maltese island of Gozo through field survey, GIS and spatial analysis. I’m currently in the final year of my PhD putting the finishing touches to my thesis which I intend to submit in September of this year.

When you graduated were you looking for a career in archaeology?
I’ve had an interest in archaeology from an early age which is largely thanks to Time Team. I even used to dig up the flower bed in my parent’s garden to find archaeological treasures when I was in primary school! It was therefore quite a natural step for me to start a degree in archaeology. During my undergraduate degree, I undertook work experience with a commercial archaeology company, however, I quickly realised my interests were more landscape-orientated and I made the decision to enrol on an MSc degree after I graduated, rather than pursue a career in commercial excavation. I really enjoyed the research element of my Master’s degree which provided a good foundation for my current PhD research which I enjoy as much! I hope to continue in a research role after I complete my PhD by pursuing a post-doctoral position.

What has been the greatest success of your career so far?
Without a doubt, my greatest success so far is completing the first draft of my PhD thesis which is about the size of a phone book!

Who’s your favourite archaeologist?
This is a really tricky question and I don’t think I could choose one! I’d have to say Prof. John Cherry for his work on Mediterranean field survey, Prof Richard Bradley for his research on prehistoric settlements, landscapes and monuments, Prof. Vince Gaffney for his pioneering role in the development of archaeological GIS, and my PhD supervisor Dr Caroline Malone for her work on the prehistoric period of the Maltese Islands.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Archaeology Career Interview -- Sarah Kerr

We caught up with Archaeology graduate Sarah Kerr to ask her about her career so far...

Sarah Kerr
Where did you graduate (and what in) and what are you doing now? 
I completed my BSc in Archaeology-Palaeoecology and Geography (Joint Hons) in 2009, from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). After a year out to work, save money (and relax) I returned to
Queen’s to undertake an MSc in Professional Archaeology before being employed as a field archaeologist with the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork (CAF), based in the University. I learnt so much during this period of my career as you never know for certain what you’re going to find beneath the topsoil!

After one year gaining experience in the field, I was accepted into my Ph.D. programme studying medieval lodging ranges in England. I’m ten months into the research now and I’m really enjoying it; it is the first time I’ve studied English buildings in any depth and I learn something new every day. I’m not going to say it is easy but it’s certainly a lot of fun!

When you graduated were you looking for a career in archaeology?
Yes, when I began my undergraduate dissertation surveying Irish round towers, I knew I wanted a career in archaeology and to keep studying historic buildings. But with a Joint Honours degree I knew I had to gain more archaeological experience which led me to the Masters programme. When I graduated I still didn’t feel qualified to be a fully-fledged archaeologist; but when you are early in your career it’s a learning curve – sometimes a very steep one! I could not be happier that I persevered; the next goal is post-doctoral research.

What has been the greatest success in your career so far?
Personally I think my greatest success is getting paid to do something I love. I have been involved in so many fantastic things I had never imagined; excavating in America, speaking at conferences; being involved in Time Team and Ulster Unearthed, surveying amazing ruins all over England. The best thing about these experiences is getting stuck in and learning something new!

Who's your favourite archaeologist?
I have met so many inspiring archaeologists over the past few years; the academics in Queen’s, staff in the CAF, people working with English Heritage and the National Trust, the other Ph.D. students, and of the course the volunteering enthusiasts I have met along the way! For me, I think the people working tirelessly to make archaeology accessible to the public are the most inspirational.