As students at Sydney University it is really interesting to see some of the practices that we have been taught in theory put into action. As first time archaeologists-in-training it is fascinating to see the dynamics of the team and what roles student members, trench supervisors and specialists play; it has really given us an idea of the multitude of fields an archaeologist can take.
On site there is a continual hustle and bustle of picking, hoeing, shovelling and dusting – there is so much cleaning (thanks Hugh)… In the last week of digging we have cleaned trench 09C and it’s wall for photographing, picked away the modern walls (there was three of them), cleaned the clay surface under the walls so that they could be photographed again, dug through a layer containing a huge amount of pottery (which we affectionately call 'uber-context') and finally uncovered more Roman road, continuing mosaic and three pipes; pretty good for 4 days of work.
After we’ve re-fuelled at lunch with ham sandwiches, salads and the occasional cake we set our sights for the pottery mats and all the cleaning, sorting and bagging that is bound to ensue; we now know how to sort – amphorae, amphorae, and more amphorae. Most nights in the Apollo we are fortunate enough to learn from experienced senior members of the team about artefact drawing, site photography and heritage management (just to name a few), as well as their own personal excavation experiences.
But its not just all work and no play, our free time is filled with drinking, sunbathing, Mighty Boosh watching and salsa dancing, not to mention the 24 hour cake patisserie that is no more than 100 metres from the dighouse. Just this weekend we hosted a good old fashion Aussie barbeque with backyard cricket, home made lamingtons, but sadly no shrimp.
We can’t believe that we only have one more week left, and there’s still so much to do! Oh well, guess we’ll just have to come back next year J.