York Archaeological Trust

Indianahannah and the Desk Based Adventure

Name:  Hannah Smith

What do you do?
Currently I’m working on the Historic Land-use Assessment project. HLA is a joint project between RCAHMS and Historic Scotland. It is an analysis of the present landscape, recording the visible traces of past land-use across Scotland, and presenting it as a digital map. My day is spent in front of a computer, working with digital sources in a GIS. This suits me well, I was always a bit of a fair weather archaeologist!

How did you get here?
I studied Archaeology at Glasgow University, and then went on to complete a Masters in Professional Archaeology there as well. As a student, I volunteered as a placement supervisor on the Hungate site in York with York Archaeological Trust. Working with YAT gave me the best crash course in field archaeology I could have asked for. Although I think the biggest thing I took away was that I preferred to work indoors!!


Dangerously close to that murky water!

I began volunteering as soon as I could, as I knew it would be difficult to find a job in archaeology. I volunteered with Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust after I graduated, helping their HER officer, and with various research projects. I was then really lucky to get an HLF workplace learning bursary in Information Management at RCAHMS in 2011.

What’s your background?
I’ve worked in various posts at RCAHMS since 2011. After completing my bursary in Information Management, I began working with the HLA project, before moving on to a data management role with Project Adair, and then working as Data and Standards officer within the Data and Recording section.

HLA mapping in progess

HLA mapping in progess

Favourite part of your job? 
I’ve enjoyed working on many different projects and in different sections at RCAHMS. It’s allowed me to gain a better understanding of all of the work undertaken by staff here. Also helping to produce our Day of Archaeology posts with staff is always a highlight.

Top tips for aspiring archaeologists?
Volunteer as much as you can.

Say yes. Even when you’re in a job, say yes to everything that comes your way.

Keep at it. Jobs are often few and far between, but you’ll be surprised at the range of archaeology jobs out there and the ways you can enter this field as a career.

Wish I hadn't said yes here, too many midges!

Wish I hadn’t said yes here, too many midges!


Big School Dig 2012

Today, 31 children from North Duffield Community Primary School conducted a dig on the school playing fields. 3 test pits of 1x1m were dug by the children in groups of 10,10,and 11. As each group of 10(11) were digging , the remainder were washing finds from earlier field-walking We suffered sharp showers and high winds which challenged the stability of the gazebos erected to protect them.

At 12cms below ground level they encounteresd a dirty sand deposit with few inclusions although some charcoal and granules of what appeared to be cbm, were present. At 35cms plain yellow sand with no inclusions was found suggesting that natural had been encountered. The dig was more about introducing the children to live archaeology and the discipline of digging rather than what we found.

They thoroughly enjoyed there day, excited the interest of younger children who were keen to get involved and were impatient to have to wait for their turn nexct year.

Supported by the presence of Dr Jon Kenny of York Archaeological Trust, this was Community Archaeology at its best.