Archaeology in London

Before I tell you about my day I’ll give you a brief summary of myself. I graduated back in 2007 from a MSc in Professional Archaeology in Oxford.  Since then I have been trying to get a role in archaeology. To help this, and because I love archaeology, I’ve been volunteering and visiting sites. One of the projects I’m involved in is the Thames Discovery Programme in London, and I spent my day (or morning!) of archaeology working with the FROGS (Foreshore Research and Observation Group).

 

Recording the river wall

Recording the river wall

On the Friday we were working on the Tower of London Foreshore.  I’ve been a member of the TDP since April, when I trained with them for 4 days on a very cold Greenwich beach, and it’s something I can’t speak highly enough of. The group is a real mix of volunteers, young and old, with and without archaeology experience, and I really enjoy my time spent with them. I really miss archaeology, so it’s great to be able to escape for a few hours and work on the foreshore with the group.

We were recording the river wall, which at the moment is quite precarious due to the erosion of the foreshore. If you look at the photograph where the tape lies is where the foreshore used to be, and now the foundations are exposed. So we were recording the exposed wall, and detailing any points of interest. Time is of the essence when working on the foreshore, and I had no idea before joining the TDP how quickly the tide on the Thames rises and falls. Our little group of three managed to get the 5-10 metre section planned, and we still had some time for mudlarking. I learnt how to find tudor pins, very exciting for me.

 

The Thames Discovery Programme on the Tower of London Foreshore

The Thames Discovery Programme on the Tower of London Foreshore

I’d also like to quickly mention Saturday 26th, when I was back at the Tower of London, but with the City of London Archaeological Society. I helped to volunteer with the children’s dig. We buried a few finds from the foreshore in buckets, and the youngsters excavated with a trowel and spade. It was such a pleasure volunteering for the day and seeing the enthusiasm of both the kids and the volunteers. My jaw really hurt afterwards from smiling so much! So, although it’s frustrating not to be working in Archaeology full time, I’m so glad I get to volunteer in my spare time, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

 

The City of London Archaeological Society weekend at the Tower of London

The City of London Archaeological Society weekend at the Tower of London

I really recommend checking out both the Thames Discovery Programme at http://www.thamesdiscovery.org/ and the City of London Archaeological Society at http://www.colas.org.uk/