The Institute of Archaeology can be a very quiet place in the summer. The normally buzzing building full of students (not just Archaeology types) and staff empties in early July with everyone jetting off to sometimes warmer and sunnier climes to undertake fieldwork. This summer we have undergrads working in Belize, Romania, Montenegro, Spain, Greece, Turkey, China and all of the UK to mention but a few. Postgrads are currently working in Olduvai Gorge , Brazil, Romania in fact all over the globe.
This means that finding willing or even unwilling volunteers for my Day of Archaeology blog, this year entitled ‘Humans of Archaeology’ (borrowed from the famous ‘Humans of New York‘ and the less well known ‘Humans of UCL‘ projects) has proven a little tricky. However, I have been creative. As well as this I have used this to launch our very own Facebook page – ‘Humans of Archaeology‘ glimpses into the everyday lives of our Archaeological Staff and Students – my contribution to the #dayofarch.
HUMANS OF ARCHAEOLOGY DAY 1.
The first Humans of the Institute of Archaeology (IoA) – two of the founders Mortimer and Tessa Wheeler – pictures taken from the current Museum Studies Exhibition ‘Voices of War’ – Mortimer and Tessa Wheeler founded the IoA in the 1930s, with the first students being admitted in 1937. I gave a tour to a potential undergraduate application today and her mum and always enjoy wittering on about the history of the IoA and Mortimer’s fine trench work and even finer moustache.
Or maybe…the Non-Humans of Archaeology
I have been wandering the corridors of the IoA for over seven years, counting the year as a Masters Student. The majority of doors I pass today contain no humans, merely the material remains. The humans they house being out in the field excavating or researching overseas. So, instead of starting with the people of the IoA I’m going against my ‘Humans of Archaeology’ objectives and for now I’ll be exploring the Material Culture left behind by the Humans of Archaeology in the IoA. Enjoy. Come September there will be 200+ Undergrads 200+ Masters Students 100+ Staff & PhDs…so maybe I should enjoy these hallowed corridors before the Humans return…
I found some Humans too…a student and staff, some of whom may have been a little camera shy…
As can be seen from my other blogs (in 2011 and 2012) I studied Archaeology at Southampton University, graduating in 2003. I went on to work at English Heritage (with John Schofield, now director of York Archaeology), the Scottish Crannog Centre, the Soay Sheep Project on St Kilda and Atkins Heritage before underaking an MSc in Human Evolution at UCL. I then continued to work at UCL in my current role as Undergrad Admin / Fieldwork Admin / Recruitment / Museums Placement Admin / Social Networker – and sometime digger – an Archaeologist of all trades if you will. I undertake research into memorilisation in my spare time and hope one day to develop this to undertake a PhD… fingers crossed!