finds specialists

Ted Levermore: A Day in the Finds Department

A close-up of gloved hands using a toothbrush to clean a find

Finds washing


Got everyone to start washing finds. A big site has just finished so we’ve got plenty of hands on deck today. Hopefully we’ll get through some of our backlog! Some of the steadier handed of the group were asked to wash a skeleton.


Our new plastic boxes arrived. We had to order some long and flat boxes to fit our more awkward sized metal artefacts.


Organising finds that have come back from specialists to be reintegrated into our archives. And organising pottery to go off to various specialists. I wonder how much archaeology navigates its way through the postal service each day?


Still organising finds for specialists.


Took some photos of artefacts for the manager. Top secret photos of top secret finds. Assigning unique numbers to boxes of finds that have been processed, which are now waiting to be looked at by specialists. Fire up the database!


Finally done, just in time for lunch.


Found a bunch of other things to sort. Now it’s lunchtime.


Discussed a possible timetable for processing the finds for one of our massive sites. We might have it processed in a couple of months if we’re lucky! We’ve got so much on it doesn’t seem likely…


Boxing up and packaging metalwork fresh from site using silica gel and airtight boxes to begin desiccation. Once stable the metalwork can be sent off to specialists.


The pot washers have been so efficient they’ve almost run out space on the drying racks for the newly washed finds.


Tidying up and working out what needs doing next week. To do list written. Looks like it’ll be much of the same!


Ted Levermore is a Finds Assistant Supervisor at Oxford Archaeology’s East office in Cambridge. For more information about Oxford Archaeology and our post-excavation artefact research and conservation services, visit our website: