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Started by rgtstoppedcounting on Jun 19, 2018 6:36:32 PM
Volunteering on an archaeological dig

I appear to have done so. A nod of interest to the local history wallah during a pub conversation has become a "thanks, pls come along on the following dates..." email from the site archeologist.

It's very local indeed - I can practically see the site from home - so not exactly a logistical challenge, but what, in the view of the panel, should I expect? "Here's a trowel, there's a hole, scrape the latter with the former until we tell you to stop"?

In the unlikely event anyone's interested, it's this:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1932043263782311/

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AlanII - 19 Jun 2018 18:42:10 (#1 of 99)

Not the most obvious to start out with but I love digging that period. Don't dig holes unless you're told to. Also, be prepared for that "ineffectual scraping" to hurt like buggery the day after.

xbod72 - 19 Jun 2018 18:47:52 (#2 of 99)

The Time Team box set might be on Channel 4's catch-up site :)

kvelertak - 19 Jun 2018 19:29:41 (#3 of 99)

Kneepads. Definitely don't leave home without them. And happy scraping, well done you.

YouGotTheMoney - 19 Jun 2018 19:34:48 (#4 of 99)

> The Time Team box set might be on Channel 4's catch-up site :)

many if not most TT episodes can also be found in their entirety on youtube. (the early ones now feel like a weird sort of historic programme within a historic programme, what with all the old technology, creaky visualisations, and tony robinson having long hair.)

barkis - 19 Jun 2018 19:40:55 (#5 of 99)

The first one ever was the only one when they didn't do any digging.

xbod72 - 19 Jun 2018 19:46:41 (#6 of 99)

Are you a big fan of TT, YouGot?

AlanII - 19 Jun 2018 20:00:15 (#7 of 99)

It's really not Time Team though, rgt. Go along. Talk to the people directing activities. We tend to really value people who can work and think at the same time (and you obviously can). Also, as a volunteer, you shouldn't be pushed to hard. Don't get all caught up in a big picture view, focus on what you're doing, the big picture thinking comes later.

YouGotTheMoney - 19 Jun 2018 20:02:47 (#8 of 99)

> Are you a big fan of TT, YouGot?

I don't know if "big fan" is the term I would use (the "just three days to do it" thing annoys the hell out of me), but I do enjoy it a lot.

AlanII - 19 Jun 2018 20:09:40 (#9 of 99)

It popularised archaeology for a while but, the whole, “we can solve the problem in three days,” when, apart from anything else, it was obvious that much research went into it before the event was very frustrating.

Pentecost - 19 Jun 2018 20:12:35 (#10 of 99)

A gimmick.

AlanII - 19 Jun 2018 20:13:00 (#11 of 99)

Also, we often have to deal with an entire site in a very restricted time span. They had the luxury of generating their own, very limited, question and then answering it, and, it didn’t matter too much if they didn’t.

BadgerDancing - 19 Jun 2018 20:13:02 (#12 of 99)

Best of luck rgt. My two digs at uni (where I was essentially trowel fodder like you) were fun for the friendships I made. The first was bloody brilliant for finds (17th C), the second (Roman) we found ruck all.

YouGotTheMoney - 19 Jun 2018 20:13:14 (#13 of 99)

> apart from anything else, it was obvious that much research went into it before the event

as a layperson, it bothered me more that it seemed unclear what would happen after the three days. also, it seems a bit irresponsible to rush like that (though I assume everything was done with care).

AlanII - 19 Jun 2018 20:14:43 (#14 of 99)

I never saw them do anything too bad but, frankly, we have to rush far more than they did.

AlanII - 19 Jun 2018 20:15:08 (#15 of 99)

rgt’s dig looks far more sedate though.

YouGotTheMoney - 19 Jun 2018 20:20:04 (#16 of 99)

> frankly, we have to rush far more than they did.

well, I don't like that either!

this stuff is irreplaceable, any research should have as much time as is needed.

barkis - 19 Jun 2018 20:31:56 (#17 of 99)

#13

At least in some cases the dig continued. The Stoke-on-Tent museum has something that was found in a Time Team dig after the programme.

AlanII - 19 Jun 2018 20:34:39 (#18 of 99)

It was very rare, barks and, they tended to create more work than they did, frankly. More positive than negative though.

AlanII - 19 Jun 2018 20:36:57 (#19 of 99)

#16 I’m hardly going to disagree but, archaeology is a political act, taking place in the present.

Pentecost - 19 Jun 2018 20:38:37 (#20 of 99)

Indeed. Someone in charge is going to make a decision about value, and it's no good coming to that argument with just an emotion.

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