I am an archaeology undergraduate at the University of Central Lancashire (Uclan). I have been engaged as an intern to help create a database of past excavations for a 10 year project starting in September. The project site is a Roman fort (Bremetenacum Veteranorum) amidst the beautiful village of Ribchester in Lancashire and its surrounding area. The project intends to look at not only the fort but how it affected the local population and landscape and at what happened after the Romans ‘left’.
My internship began by sourcing any and all publications produced over the last couple of centuries that had any archaeological information about Ribchester. The internet proved a valuable tool for this purpose but still it took days longer than I intended and I haven’t even gone to collect the material yet.
The remainder of my time has been processing information gathered from a small trench we excavated last September and some test pits done over the spring. This includes transferring the section drawings of the excavations into GIS software via Adobe Illustrator. This should help us to better pin point future excavations. This was then followed by inputting the context sheets.
What remains for me to do now is to sort through the finds and catalogue them for future reference. Identifying pottery seems to take a great deal of time. It is a process that is both enjoyable and frustrating at the same time. I am unsure whether I would want to specialize in pottery, to just become good at it or simply find my own intern to deal with it. At the moment I will stick to just trying to become good at it.
The process will start over again when the publications I sourced earlier arrive. Once all the past excavation are consolidated we and future archaeologists, should have a fantastic source of information with which to help us decipher of ‘just what was going on’ in Ribchester when the Romans were here.