I have just finished a PhD at UCL on Anglo-Saxon glass, and currently work both at Kent County Council as Historic Environment Record Officer and as a freelance glass specialist

My Day of Archaeology as HER Officer and freelance glass specialist

Hello everyone!

As is genuinely typical for me, I spent the first part of Friday 28th July 2017 working from home on my day job, which is Historic Environment Record Officer for Kent County Council. Each county maintains a Historic Environment Record (HER), and some National Parks have their own too. They replaced the Sites and Monuments Record (SMR), which was run by what is now Historic England, and are used extensively for both planning and research. We aim to maintain an accurate and up-to-date record of all aspects of the Historic Environment in our county, including historic buildings, below-ground archaeological remains, and designated assets such as listed buildings and scheduled monuments. The data set is a valuable resource for academics and research students (for example to assist with their research on iron age hoard deposits), and for commercial archaeological units and consultancy firms, who often request a ‘search’ of a specific area as part of a planning application or prior to an excavation to be conducted as part of the development process. We are very busy with search requests at the moment, so I spent the morning working on those at the top of the list. Unfortunately this section of the day was not photo-friendly due to a minefield of copyright issues. However, the online version of the Kent Historic Environment Record can be accessed by anyone at Exploring Kent’s Past.

Afterwards, I managed to squeeze in some time doing activities related to my freelance work as a glass specialist. Commercial archaeological units and academic and community projects send me glass from sites they have excavated for specialist assessment. I usually write a detailed report tailored to the client, the type or stage of the project, and whether the report is intended to contribute to an unpublished site report (‘grey literature’) or a publication. Yesterday afternoon I took a delivery of a small glass assemblage from an academic research project and unpacked it, and then returned to the project I am in the middle of, which is an assemblage of post-medieval glass. I recorded (identified, measured and weighed) a few more bottles and fragments from the assemblage in my spreadsheet for the project.

I was also hoping to do a little bit on the conference paper I am preparing based on my recently-completed PhD thesis on Anglo-Saxon vessel glass, but it is the first week of the school summer holidays, so that didn’t happen!

Glass delivery!

Project in progress…