Hey hey hey everyone...sorry for the delay in my blog, I have been very tardy with this, for which I apologise profusely!
My last post I discussed the HUGE amounts of paperwork involved behind community archaeology projects...that is still the same, however, I have also been very busy out in the field.
Myself and Cara continued to meet up with the school which was part of the Dighty Connect project in Dundee. We met the school group at Finlathen Park Aqueduct and taught them how an archaeologist records features, this was done with a twist though as we asked them to record grafitti. The youngsters set to work by recording size, colour, what the grafitti said, where it was situated, they took photos and used the handheld GPS to record exact co-ordinates of the grafitti. They asked lots of questions and seemed to enjoy themselves which is what archaeology is about.
|A piece of graffiti recorded by the school group (c) Archaeology Scotland|
The next session we undertook with them was in the classroom whereby they were telling their own stories of their experiences with the Dighty Burn. We then brought out the investigation kits and asked the youngsters to use their imagination as to what they thought the objects were and to then create a story about that object. Imaginations ran wild...one story involving Jedward and the One Direction boys having a chariot race. This was just before Christmas and I felt like I had made a real connection to the kids as they had become more open and trusting of me. They were all so smart with the potential to do anything they put their minds to, it was a pleasure to work with them and their teachers who clearly put in every effort with a school group that struggles to stay focused in the classroom. One of the girls asked me if I thought she could get into forensics as she loved CSI, I told her that she could be a forensic archaeologist as they are the ones who undertake that kind of work these days, she then asked me how she could meet an archaeologist, to which I just pointed at myself! She just smiled and started to ask me all sorts of questions, that to me, was the icing on the cake!!
TAG is short for the Theoretical Archaeology Group, which is a conference that takes place every year in December. Whilst undertaking my degree I went to several of these conferences as a spectator...not this time! I was asked by Phil and Cara to take part in their session titled; New approaches to archaeological outreach, engagement and ownership. My presentation was to outline the work I had done with the Dighty Connect and to discuss the amazing project I am involved with called Playing the Past. The aim of this outreach project is to get young people involved in archaeology through their love of football. We will be investigating the history of defunct Scottish football teams and their stadiums, the first phase to take place in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
|Cathkin Park, Glasgow. This stadium belonged to Thrird Lanark which we will be investigating as part of the project.|
We have a number of project partners linked to the project who are keen to get going with it! My presentation discussed the teams to be investigated; St Bernard's FC in Edinburgh and Third Lanark in Glasgow. I also talked about how we would be working with Football Memories which is a charity that comes under Alzheimer Scotland. The idea behind this is that we will be working with Alzheimer sufferers after having completed standing building surveys of old stadiums, 3D models will then be created from that data. We will ask the individuals suffering from Alzheimers to recall where they sat to watch the football matches of the past, which will hopefully begin a reminiscence of their own stories relating to the team they supported. Such oral histories will be recorded to add to our knowledge and to pass on to younger members of the communities we will be working with. By doing this we hope to create a stronger bond in the community regardless of age, social standing, ethnic background and gender...and to have fun researching a sport loved by many people not just in Scotland, but the world over!
After the Christmas and New Year holidays the Adopt-a-Monument team went to Ardnamurchan to undertake some survey work for the Ardnamurchan Transitions Project. The team did some geophysical survey, we walked around a number of potential sites and began to plan for the summer season. We also got to meet the local school again who came for a site visit, their teachers were teaching them about Vikings so they were very intrigued by the Viking Boat Burial! Some of the local community are keen to get more involved with the archaeology of Ardnamurchan which the Adopt-a-Monument team are only too happy to facilitate.
|Standing Stone in Ardnamurchan|
Soooo as you can see I have had a busy few months, meeting new people, doing my first presentation at a big conference, doing LOTS of paperwork in preparation for our amazing new project and generally having a grand time whilst training in a role I hope to pursue after my bursary has ended. I would urge anyone who is interested in community archaeology to apply for the September/October 2013 round of placements because I am learning so much from the amazing folk at Archaeology Scotland and having fun at the same time.