Thursday, 8 November 2012

My first month with Archaeology Scotland = lots of paperwork!!

It has been almost a month since my last post…I have been so busy that I’ve not managed to blog about it!!
After being introduced to everyone in the office on the first day, I had a meeting with Phil (Project Manager of Adopt-a-Monument) and Cara (Adopt-a-Monument Officer). I was given a briefing on everything their team were doing and what they were planning to do in the next year. I was given much reading material so that I could get myself up to speed with projects/activities I will be involved with! I also went to RCAHMS with Cara for a meeting about Scotland’s Community Heritage Conference, which will be taking place this coming weekend in Perthshire. So straight away I was networking and have spent a day in the RCAHMS offices helping Kevin put the delegate packs together for the conference…I am learning there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of archaeology and conferences such as these!!
I have been helping Cara with a community group from Dundee called Dighty Connect. The idea behind their group is to work with communities along the Dighty Burn and encouraging them to take part in envioronmental and cultural projects. Anne who leads this group contacted Cara as they wanted help with learning how to record archaeological features. We went to Dundee one day to walk along the Burn and spot such features but what we weren’t expecting was a group of school children to be accompanying us! This turned out to be a fantastic introduction to those children as their teachers asked us to go back to their school later in October to hold a session with them. I have to say that I have enjoyed all of my time in this first month but that has been my favourite day so far. We took a couple of our artefact investigation kits so the children could handle the objects, they were extrmely engaged and even brought in objects that were special to them or best described them…we saw many console controllers which was pretty good! The session got them thinking about objects in terms of material culture and what objects say about people in the archaeological record, we also had them looking at aerial photographs and they also got to read maps. All in all we had their attention for just short of 3 hours which in my eyes is something of an achievement when I think about when I was in secondary school!
In terms of the future project I have been working on proposals, permissions, setting up meetings with various groups in different areas of Scotland. I will go into more details when I get the go ahead from Phil, it’s all under wraps at the moment but it is something that hasn’t really been done in archaeology before. I am really looking forward to seeing this in action but for now I must carry on with the paperwork…who knew there was so much behind every archaeological project, I’m learning everyday!!