Happy Summer Solstice!
Today is the longest day of the year. Enjoy the sunlight and take some time to reflect on all the beautiful and bright things in your life.
It’s the end of the first week of the 2019 season of the Bamburgh Research Project and I’m back in Edinburgh just for the day do run errands and do my laundry.
This season I am working as the Assistant Finds Supervisor. If you’ve been totally out of the loop, the BRP is located at Bamburgh Castle in Northumbria. Bamburgh was a massive Anglo-Saxon stronghold and later medieval fortress. Excavations are currently focused in the outer ward of the castle in a known metal working area circa the sixth to seventh centuries CE.
So far, I’ve been teaching illustration techniques and am currently in the middle of reorganizing how the project stores bulk finds (pottery, ceramic building material, charcoal, etc). Up until recently the project stored bulk finds by year. It was decided that to make it easier for future study we would reorder everything so artefact types are together regardless of year. It’ll make everything easier… but is a process to do.
This past week has truthfully gone by quickly. I took the train from Edinburgh last Friday. We had a staff work day on Saturday to organise our new offices and get the trench ready for students the next day.
I also received my degree classification last Friday. I have been awarded a First Class Degree in History & Archaeology MA with Honours. It’s a mouthful, but basically it means I did a pretty damn good job. A First is the highest degree classification you can get in the UK. Also, as I found out yesterday, I was one of two students to receive the Archaeological Dissertation Prize. The award was split this year and is awarded to the student (or students) who received the highest mark for the year on their dissertations. Maybe it’s time to actually print copies…
If you can remember that far back to April, my dissertation focused on architectural archaeology and cultural heritage management of the Botanic Cottage at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. I pulled in a lot of my experiences volunteering at the Cottage for the past two years as well.
But yeah. It’s been exciting.
And honestly, it’s a week illustrating what happens when you really, really want something. I guess dreams really do come true, kiddos. And, like, I really, really don’t want to sound like an asshole, but I’m so proud. I am graduating from a top 20 world university with top honours, hanging out at an archaeological site all summer, and then starting a Masters in a field I love.
I never compare myself to others because we are all flowers growing at our own pace, however, I do compare myself to past versions. This is my evaluation: present-Kenn is everything past-Kenn hoped she would be, but, present-Kenn still has work to do so future-Kenn can be her best version.
But, I could have never done it without my friends or my parents or my lecturers or my supervisors or the RBGE or the BRP. My heart is so full and I owe it to you all.
I’m back to Bamburgh this afternoon and then back to Edinburgh again next week. My family is arriving for my graduation not long after I get back and it’ll be great to see them.
Happy Summer Solstice!