Hello, My name is Nick and I work full time as an Archaeologist in commercial archaeology, but I also am doing a PhD in my part time. My day inevitably has to be a mixture of the two, otherwise I would’nt get anything done!
Just to give you all an idea of what commercial and academic archaeology are….
Commercial Archaeology is, in the UK, a group of companies that work for developers and the like, when they plan on building new developments. As part of any planning permission for new construction now, the archaeological potential of the site must be investigated and, if present, recorded before it is destroyed so that we can learn more about our past. this is done is a range of ways including geophyzz (that stuff you see on Time Team), desk based research and field excavation.
Academic archaeologist usually work at Universities and may teach students who are starting out in their degrees. My PhD is more on the research side of academia which is to look at all the evidence we have for a particular society and try and come to new conclusions about the people in the past.
I started in archaeology ten years ago in 2000, working in Colchester where I grew up. I was lucky enough to get a work placement with the Colchester Archaeological Trust where they offered me more work as a digger in the summer when I wasn’t doing my A-Levels. This continued when I was at University in Kent, where I spent 9 months studying and 3 months digging. I suppose you could say that I was always one day destined to do both!!
Later I did my Masters in Birmingham, before moving to Ireland for 2 years to work on the large Road scheme projects over there. I worked for Eachtra Archaeological Projects who gave me my first break running my own excavations. It was hard work but also great fun and I got to meet archaeologists from all over the world, including my fiance, who is from Canada.
Now I’m back in England working for Archaeology South-East who are a commercial unit that are a part of the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. We are based down in Brighton, but I’m regularly up in London as I also do my PhD at UCL. It involves a fair amount a time spent on a train and fair amount of my free time, but I love doing it and hope it will further my career!.
Today I am sadly not in the field considering the beautiful weather but am working from home on a publication for ASE, and later some work for my PhD. Watch this space and I’ll update with details later on……