So it’s that time of year when the archaeological world puts it wears out on the global bazaar that is the internet, for all passerbys to look over, man handle and put back on the table before moving onto the next.
Being a volunteer archaeologist, I’ll use volunteer rather than amatuer (as amatuer sounds rather degrading and derogatory), it’s hard to talk in depth about a day of archaeology. Akin to a village hedge wizard (anyone who has dabbled in DnD will understand) as apposed the the grand arcanist that is a practising or academic archaeologist, volunteer archaeologists have their own special niche.
As the fixes of archaeology are brief and interspersed between the bill paying job, time with my wife and kids and lifes unexpected hiccups, it’s more about the snippets or bread crumbs of archaeology. Each bread crumb is a learning and experience gaining opportunity until an elusive paid role eventuates.
Whilst not being as grand as a full time practising archaeologists, volunteering can be just as rewarding. Mostly based around public archaeology, my last year has comprised of helping out at the local historic museum, conducting archival research and a couple of talks, one of which was to my son’s Kindergarten class, during National Archaeology Week. Whilst no wonderous amphora depicting classic Greek warriors or well shaped lithics were involved, being able to share the infectious lure of archaeology and create the sparkle of excitement in someones eye, was unbeatable.
So until next year, I’m off to chase some more bread crumbs and read the other days of archaeology that people are sharing.