A week in the life of a Finds Liaison Officer
By Wendy Scott, FLO forLeicester, Leicestershire andRutland.
Saturday 16th July
My first ‘National Archaeology Fortnight’ event. I am doing an identification session at Melton Mowbray museum today. During the week I assisted the local detecting and fieldwork groups mount an exhibition for NAF in the Community Showcase. So I have a wonderful backdrop of Roman, Medieval and post medieval metalwork and pottery! I have met two new finders and recorded some good material.
Sunday 17th July
Festival of History! Today was a very long but very enjoyable day. We always have a stand in the English Heritage marquee and we usually manage to speak to hundreds of people about our work, especially when it rains and they run for cover! Watching re-enactors of all periods mixing together is quite weird, I’m sure it must confuse the kids! The afternoon dogfight between a Messerschmitt and a Spitfire was cool (obviously the spitfire won!)
Monday 18th July.
Today I am having a well earned rest! I am just in the office to return equipment used over the weekend and to collect a couple of small treasure items which I am passing on to our manager, Roger Bland tomorrow. He will then take them down to the BritishMuseum for the curators to identify and prepare a Treasure report for the Coroner.
Tuesday 19th July
Regional meeting, BirminghamMuseum. This is when we catch up with each other, discuss issues, organise events etc. Today we had a special treat. We visited the Conservation lab to have a look at Staffordshire hoard objects being cleaned before going on display. They get more amazing the more we see them! We also said goodbye to Duncan Slarke, Ex West Mids. FLO (the person the Staffordshire hoard was reported to). Hes off to a new life in Oslo. Lykke til Duncan!
Wednesday 20th July
Today I dealt with Treasure paperwork, passed on purchased Treasure to the Museums staff and took delivery of a medieval gold ring which needs to go through the Treasure system. I spent the rest of the day editing photos (taken at a MD club meeting) ready to add to our website.
This evening I am going to the launch of ‘Visions of Ancient Leicester’ A book showing reconstructions based on the last 10 years of extensive excavation in the city. A large Roman coin hoard, a treasure case I worked on, recently purchased by Leicester City Musuems.
Thursday 21st July
Today I am trying to get some records on the website. I have a collection of objects including a group of early Medieval metalwork, which has confirmed the location of a long suspected Anglo-SaxonCemetery in the Melton Mowbray area. So as well as adding these to the website I have alerted local Archaeologists who have been wondering where the cemetery might be! This morning I also processed some Museum Identifications which may or may not end up on the web too.
Friday 22nd July
More data entry today (it never ends!). I have written a Treasure report for the ring I collected on Wednesday and sent that to the British Museum for checking. I also had the joy of submitting my quarterly financial claim, which always involves fighting the County Council Finance system for a few hours! Last job of the day was packing my car with Roman material and kids activities for Saturday’s event.
Saturday 23rd July
‘Meet the experts’ at Harborough Museum. My last NAF event, today we are concentrating on the Iron age and Roman periods to compliment our wonderful Hallaton Hoard display (over 5,000 Iron age coins excavated from a ‘temple’ site). I have been showing people Roman coins and artefacts and getting children to design their own coins. My Colleague Helen Sharp has been teaching people about life in the Iron age and letting people make their own replica coins, always immensely popular!
I’m now off on a camping trip with my extended family, so enjoy ‘Day of Archaeology!