Day one – injury zero, portaloos good!
Picture the scene… A cloudless sky, sun shining and just a hint of a breeze as thirty excited undergraduates make their way through rolling hills on course for the summit of archaeological dreams. Upon their arrival the director greets the ‘new blood’ with a cheer, and ushers the group to the top of a nearby round barrow, from which they are lords of all they survey! Looking down onto the site with awe and anticipation, the budding archaeologists are told a thrilling tale of radiocarbon dates and excavation of days gone by. With heads filled with the image of ‘chocolate trenches’ and reciting the mantra “don’t wee in the woods!” they embark on this, the first day of their digging destiny. “Not to worry” they are told as they settle down into the exposed area, trowels in hand, “you wont break it… or probably not!”. Task one had commenced- The cleaning of the trench. For many this was the true grit of archaeology, the much anticipated literal dirtying of the hands, for others this was an exciting excursion away from the land of stuffy lecture theatres and dusty books, but for all it was a massive pain on the knees! Four million buckets of soil, three finds and a lunch break later and the ‘sweeping’ commenced!
Cautious not to be seen by the ever vigilant Siriol (whom is fundamentally opposed to that sort of thing!) the now achy and dust covered “haventdugs” meticulously (and surreptitiously) swept the area once covered with dirt, until it shone in the afternoon sun. “Amazing” said many “Ouch” said others But “Job well done” was the cry from all And that was day one complete for the plucky newlings, with minimal injury and full of the joys of all life brings they waved goodbye to their day’s endeavour and headed home for a well earned rest.