Archaeologist and proud whippet owner...

75 Years of the Institute of Archaeology, or, my day #1,383 in the IoA House…

Archaeology has meant many things to me – Archaeological musings in Bahrain circa 1986 (aged 4);

Bahrain 1986 Archaeology

So it begins…the author, aged 4, exploring the desert…

Archaeogical digs in Colchester; Archaeology BA from Southampton 2000; Archaeological reconstruction Scottish Crannog Centre crazy Iron Age Woman 2003;  UCL MSc Archaeology and Human Evolution 2005; Archaeological reflection St Kilda 2006; Archaeological Consultancy 2007: Archaeological Administrator 2008-present…as I enjoy day 1,383 in the Institute of Archaeology house I can reflect on my time here, which has flown by (thanks to my tremendous colleagues and the most splendid of students!!!) and my Admin Archaeological work…

A typical day:

8.27am arrive…drink coffee

9am commence work – emails / tours / forms / UCAS / meetings / external meetings / student meetings

11am more coffee under the auspicious gazes of Wheeler, Grimes, Childe and Kenyon in the Staff room…

 

Wheeler Method – the father of the IoA (on this our 75th Anniversary year!)

12pm sometimes desk cover for the reception – lots of waving at people (should a receptionist wave?)

1pm – ham, salad cream and rocket on rye – hearty lunch of archaeological champions

2pm – 5.30pm – forms / liaise / meetings / sort / web / social networking (for work!) etc and so forth.

As far as an admin job goes this particular one rocks – it’s the best of both Archaeological worlds – I still get the chance to dig / attend some lectures / talk to archaeological folk / do some archaeological outreach but I get an office, with a fan, a musical boombox and a computer – less problematic for my tired archaeological knees.  I also get to administer the applications of the new generation of Archaeologists.

This year has been our 75th Anniversary – the anniversary of Mortimer’s dream coming to fruition and his wife, Tessa Wheeler, securing the money for the IoA in Regents Park (St John’s Lodge) –  super photos from the 1950s onwards.

We have had the following events in the IoA this year:

6 Inaugural Lectures

5 75th Anniversary Debates

1 Alumni Party (IoA Director Prof Stephen Shennan’s speech)

…and 1 Massive World Experimental Archaeology Day in Gordon Square – Pics here!

Sat 9th June World of Archaeology!

Working at the IoA is a joy – every day is different…and for me it provides the perfect balance of admin and Archaeology – plus it is really close to the British Museum for all the best outings!

So…to plug the IoA once again – you can follow us on Facebook there are pics and news about the workings of an Archaeological Institution (thanks to the Guardian and the student survey – the UKs number one Archaeology Department! Thank you graduands!)

Charlotte Frearson – Undergraduate Programmes Administrator / Museums Placement Organiser / Fieldwork Administrator / Social Networker / Moodler…

A Polar Bear at the Tower and a whole lotta Moodle – a normal day in the IoA.

It’s just another Polar Bear at the Tower…

Today is an odd day for me and one I can only enjoy in the relative peace of the summer months when all the students are away on fieldwork and the folk at UCAS have stopped sending applications to us.  I’ve spent the morning in a meeting with Dale Copely at the Fusiliers Museum in the Tower of London.  The Fusiliers Museum have taken on one of our Museum Masters students (from 2010-2011) and are offering to take another, on a voluntary basis, during the 2011-2012 academic year.  A large number of other London Museums, including the British Museum, V&A and the Museum of London also take on Masters students (and some undergrads) throughout the year.  This means more meetings next week at the Florence Nightingale Museum, Horniman, Operating Theatre Museum and the London Fire Brigade Museum.  These meetings are a pleasure, and a great chance to meet with a wide range of Museum Professionals: as well as satisfying my geeky love of all the wonderful London Museums! 

My normal work, and in fact the way I will spend the rest of my day, includes a range of administrative tasks – reading and processing UCAS forms (come October), sorting fieldwork grant applications, creating statistical reports (spreadsheets / graphs) for entry and application figures, running open days and visiting schools as part of UCL’s outreach programme. Today I’ll be uploading and processing photographs from the Festival of British Archaeology Day held on Wednesday, photos from my visit to the Tower today (some of which may be used on the IoAs website www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology) and the continuation of my project to collect and collate photos from our large student body for use in the Institute’s promotional material, on the Fieldwork Website and on the Twitter (@IoA_UCL_Friends) and Facebook accounts – both of which I am responsible for updating and maintaining.  

Festival of British Archaeology 2011 Swanscombe Flint

This afternoon I also have meetings with our Faculty adviser Cristy, regarding the A-Level results day (just a few weeks away now), and a potential applicant for the Archaeology BA degree in 2012.  It is 11 years since I did my undergraduate degree in Archaeology, a fact I always share with these applicants and every time I say it I hear the shock in my voice!  These meetings with applicants always include a tour of the IoA culminating in a viewing of our ‘Wolfson Archaeological Sciences’ plaque with Harrison Ford’s name on – a highlight of the tour for me (at the very least) and hopefully them as well.  It will be a sad day for me and the IoA when the applicant hasn’t heard of Indiana Jones.

 

Glorious UCL!!!

 I’m up to item number 105 on my to-do list (1-104 are satisfyingly ticked off – another advantage of the summer quiet!) – it reads ‘Moodle’ – it seems this afternoon will also be spent uploading handbooks / timetables and further information to the Moodle website – the job I put off the longest and usually the job that takes the least amount of time…well, let’s hope so anyway!  Sometimes I miss digging and the more practical aspects of Archaeology (not really so much this year with the horrific weather), and I do still get out in the field when I can, in fact I just bought myself a new 4” WHS trowel on my way back to the IoA today – just to be ready for anything…! 

Charlotte Frearson, Institute of Archaeology UCL: Undergraduate Administrator / Fieldwork Administrator / Museum Placement Coordinator.