What up boyos!!!
I’m back in Edi for ~one final week~ before bouncing across the ocean for a limited show two-year US tour in search of jobs and education. I’ve lined up a fancy new part-time job (more on that later), enrolled in my ~graduate~ classes, and forced my dad to pick up his grown-adult-child’s vaccination records so I can prove to KU I’m not an plague carrier! As it turns out I’ve been vaccinated twice for meningitis!
However, for the past six weeks I’ve been surviving in the No Phone Dead Zone of Northumbria. It was my third year with the Bamburgh Research Project and my second year on staff. This year I was the Assistant Finds Supervisor. I’ve chatted about the site and my responsibilities previously in various posts but the gist of the position was to assist the Finds Supervisor in cataloguing and keeping all the finds that come out of the trench.
I also specialised in teaching Small Finds Illustration – basically drawing the ‘shiny’ or special finds that come out of the trench like worked bone, carved stones, or exceptional metal work. I’ve always been ~artistically~ inclined, but I learned how to do technical drawings my third year of university and really liked it.
However, one thing I learned from the season is that I really, really, need to invest in a new computer if I want to seriously pursue digital finds illustration. Especially considering I almost certainly have an illustration project lined up with the BRP which could transition over to my Masters! My current laptop is a Grand Old Lady at this point and my poor baby crashed four times causing me to lose more than one illustration over the season.
I’ll provide two different examples of my work from the season below:
Besides teaching illustration, I supervised the reorganising and moving of the bulk finds from the Castle Windmill to our storeroom inside the castle. The Project decided that instead of storing all the bulk finds (shell, charcoal, mortar, animal bone, etc) in year boxes they would be stored in artefact type boxes. This will make it much easier for future study of a particular artefact type. However, it basically took all season to inventory boxes and create a new cataloguing system.
On a social note, Ben and Alven ‘surprised’ me with visit during the last weekend. Their original plan was to show up and actually surprise me which I’m very glad they didn’t because I hate surprises. Ben took the train up from London and Alven took the the train down from Edinburgh. I picked both of them up from Berwick.
That weekend was also the BRP Reunion so not only did both of them get to meet the students and current staff but many of the Oldies from the project as well. And of course, while it had been sunny all week – it rained all weekend. Both of them got drenched on the beach and I forced them to stand next to the space heater.
However, I think between working on site and drinking in the pub, Ben and Alven got a truly well-rounded archaeological experience. Alven worked a bit with the animal bone since he’s studying zoology and, while, we don’t have an cranes on site for Ben to gush over we do have an EDM which uses ~lasers.~
It was a really nice weekend. Alven is still being a public nuisance in Edinburgh (HE CRAWLED OUT THE WINDOW OF MY FLAT!!!) but I’m really glad that I got a chance to say farewell to Ben this time in the bright sun instead of the Edinburgh bus station at night. There were still tears but I’d say it wasn’t as ~traumatic~ this time around.
And that was the season. Lots of teaching and drawing and cataloguing. But as always, I really enjoyed my time with project. It’s given me invaluable archaeological experience which will only make it easier for me to get that dream job with UNESCO.
I am already looking forward to next summer. Things are going to be a bit different – we are moving trench locations and there might be opportunities for me to work with both the Castle Museum and the Project. Again, this might transfer to my Masters. There are also some other potential summer projects which I am currently trying to make work. More on those when I know myself. Fingers crossed.
But, this past Saturday, Gregor drove down to Bamburgh to pick me up from the campsite. There was a slight issue getting the bike in the car but we eventually found an Allen key. I said farewell to the rest of the staff and Gregor and I booked it back to Scotland with time to spare.
I’ve got just over a week left here in Scotland and I plan to enjoy every second I have left here in Edinburgh. These past four years have gone by far too quick – expect a very emotional post in the next week. More on that soon.