Kerry Massheder

My Day of Archaeology 2013 post is written as I am employed as the Council for British Archaeology Community Archaeology Training Placement (CATP) at National Museums Liverpool. I am based at the Museum of Liverpool Field Archaeology Unit and my day-to-day activities vary greatly. Since my post began in April 2013 I have helped to organise and supervise community archaeology excavations, building recording exercises, finds processing and grave recording. I am in the process of organising and conducting an oral history project to capture memories of Liverpool’s court style housing and I have organised a workshop for community members on the theme of oral history. I have become a Branch Assistant of the Mersey and Dee Young Archaeologists’ Club, a Council Member of the Merseyside Archaeological Society and (membership vote pending) an ‘Ordinary Council Member’ of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology. I am enjoying my placement a great deal and am hopeful it will lead to future employment in a similar field.
I am undertaking a PhD in Archaeology at the University of Liverpool. I am investigating the combined investigative approach of field archaeology and oral history to enhance our understanding of the housing experience of workers during the Industrial Revolution era-early 20th century. I am approaching my third year (part time) and I am really enjoying my research and I am appreciative of the people it brings me into contact with.
Now, onto my ‘Day of Archaeology’ ………………This year The Day of Archaeology falls in the second week of the Festival of Archaeology. Yesterday, as part of the Museum of Liverpool’s Festival of Archaeology events, I spent the day in the Museum of Liverpool helping to run an event called ‘Help an Archaeologist’ where I supported our young visitors in making Iron Age roundhouses, handling Roman pottery and sorting and recording finds. Today I am helping the Project Officer of Rainford’s Roots, a community archaeology project run by the Merseyside Archaeological Society and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, lead a heritage walking tour in Rainford. The tour aims to provide community members with an update on the Rainford’s Roots project and discuss with them how Rainford has changed and developed over time. Today’s tour is an extended version of the walk that occurred yesterday.
The walk was a great opportunity to catch up with some of the community members who have worked on various stages of the project, discuss the upcoming excavation based at Rainford Library running from the 15th August-22nd August and meet community members who could potentially be involved. The walk was extremely successful-the weather was dry and bright, people chatted amongst themselves and exchanged stories about the heritage of Rainford and they asked for further information on the project and how they could become involved.
Following the walk I continued working from home. I wrote this post! I also worked on the planning stages of a project I may become involved in. This project will explore the history of a Merseyside School through archaeological test pitting, building recording and archival research. Following an initial meeting with the school I am now in the process of creating a list of products and services we can offer in preparation for writing a funding bid. I can’t say much about the project at this stage (keep a look out on my Twitter feed for updates) but I can stay I am massively excited about it!
During the evening I turned to my PhD research. I usually go over my weekend ‘to do’ list on a Friday evening so that I am well prepared to ‘get cracking’ the next day. My plans for the weekend include writing notes for and starting to write a paper for the presentation I will give at the UCLAN ‘Public History in Perspective’ conference in September. Tonight I organised feedback I have received for papers with will be included in an upcoming edition of AP Journal. The edition will focus on paper from the two community archaeology sessions at the Theoretical Archaeology Conference in December 2012. This is being organised by myself, Dominic Walker (University of Cambridge) and Cara Jones (Archaeology Scotland) with support from authors, anonymous peer reviewers and some fantastic commentators. It has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside these wonderful people.
I hope my post has illustrated how varied archaeology, and in particular community archaeology, can be. No day is ever the same! Please feel free to follow my placement activities at and @livuniMassheder.