contract archaeology

Silent friday on construction site

Hello! My name is Oskars Uspelis and I am archaeologist and project manager in commercial archaeology company “Archaeological Research” located in Cesis, Latvia. We are small company with five archaeologists. From beginning of April we are working in quite large site – reconstruction of Riga street, which is main street in Cesis Old town. Cesis was founded in 1206 – so important role for archaeology on the site. Archaeology is done parallel with construction works. We hope to finish the site in December.

In the course of street reconstruction, all the pipes (water, drainage etc.) are changed and new ones installed. For us there are three category trenches. First – trenches with pipes and no archaeological remains; second – trenches with pipes and with partial archaeological remains; third – fresh trenches with intact archaeological layers. Each category determines the amount of jobs to be done.

So far we have medieval wooden street structures, 18-20th cobblestone street layers, 19th century drainage and water pipes, 20th century drainage shafts. Doing work updates on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Arheologiskaizpete/.

We will take part in Science night in September to present the first results. It we will be done together with local Cesis museum.

Street is not fully closed – sideways are open for pedestrians, so we have full time engagement with local people.

Today was visiting the site, to check how one of the 20th century drainage shaft have been demolished. Silent Friday. Waiting for afternoon to see, if Murphy’s Law will occur.

…and this is our portable field “almost-all-in-one” office, shared with construction workers.


A day of archaeological finds

Having followed Day of Archaeology since it started I thought it finally time I participated and shared some of the fun from the finds room. Yes the finds room can be fun, with the advantage of being dry (a big benefit today!) and having a plentiful supply of cake. As the Archaeological Archives and Finds officer for the Surrey County Archaeological Unit (SCAU) I love the variety my role now encompasses, today’s activities being a good example.

The day started with a shout out from Sara Cox on radio 2 – I was hoping she would mention our volunteers excavating the World War 1 camp at Witley but that didn’t quite go to plan! Most of the morning then involved liaising with external specialists over the post-excavation programme for a large medieval cemetery that we recently excavated, followed by me yet again covering the office desks in pottery – this time selecting examples for illustration for a publication report. I then delved into the specialist world of clay tobacco pipe manufacturers in Surrey. Who would have thought so much could be written about clay tobacco pipes! Love it. Another day in the library lined up for next week.

clay pipe

Clay pipe

Skillet

Skillet

Archaeological Archives are currently in a state of crisis with many museums full and contracting units faced with the prospect of having to hold onto material indefinitely. The situation has received much attention within the profession over recent years, although little progress has been made to resolve the problem thus far. The situation is also true for Surrey, with most museums no longer able to accept any archives. Rather alarmingly the news broke this week from Guildford that the Surrey Archaeology Society has been given notice to leave Guildford Museum following over a 100 years of collaboration. It is still unclear what the future holds for the substantial archives held by the Surrey Archaeology Society, and indeed the future of the museum. We are working closely with colleagues in Surrey to improve our own and local museums storage space and we may have secured a new store to start alleviating some of the pressure to house archives currently curated by contracting units, ourselves included. Hence this afternoon was spent measuring up the prospective store and obtaining quotes for racking. An innovative new use for redundant prison cells, although possibly with less cake.

One Word Archaeology

ASI is the largest archaeological and cultural heritage consulting company in Ontario, Canada, with over 35 years experience in the production & dissemination of knowledge concerning our past.

We could write a long post detailing all of the various projects we are working on, the sites we have completed and our day-to-day experiences working in heritage, but we decided to keep it simple this year. Below are some images we compiled from our staff over the past few days that we think accurately reflect our lives at ASI.

They say a picture is a worth a thousand words. Or, in this case, only one…

13

FILL

 

11

FLING

 

10

PREP

 

803

REWARD

 

3

BANANA

 

OAS

MEMORY

 

4

HOSPITALITY

 

8

SUIT-UP

 

9

COMMEMORATION

 

7

POTENTIAL

 

5

BUG

 

12

SCRUB

 

Zack Selfie

SELFIE

 

14

STRAIGHT

 

FRANCE

D-DAY

http://asiheritage.ca/media/asis-geophysical-survey-team-helps-uncover-german-bunker-at-juno-beach/

 

 

Web

PROCESS

 

15

UNEXPECTED

 

16

ANGRY

 

6

COMMUTE

 

19

TAB

 

1

NIRVANA

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