Worcestershire Archaeology

Roman tiles, display cabinets and chocolate brownies

Today is a slightly unusual day in the office, as everyone at Worcestershire Archaeology is preparing for the opening of our new premises ‘The Hive’ which is situated in the centre of Worcester. Our new building is quite controversial due to its ultra-modern appearance (it’s covered in gold tiles!) but the inside is amazing, bringing together both public and University libraries, the Archive and Archaeology Service and the local History Centre all under one roof! It is a fantastic resource to have in the county and I feel lucky to be part of it.

So as well as carrying out my every day tasks today, I am also assisting with putting together a display of archaeological finds in one of the public areas and the day shall end with a small staff party to celebrate the opening and making it this far!

9.15am: First things first – I need a cup of coffee to get things kick-started! I shall then go through my emails and respond to any which require my attention.

10.00am: Back to my current project. This week, I have been working on a fairly sizeable assemblage of Roman building material from a site which our field team excavated just outside of Kenchester, Herefordshire. It’s an interesting group of material comprising a variety of tile forms and fabrics. I am starting where I left off last night, entering data into the site database – primarily number of fragments, weight, fabric, form, dimensions, general observations and date.

11.00am: I have been asked if I can go upstairs and help with labelling up some of the replica Roman and medieval pottery that has been put on display.  They’re mainly copies of vessel types commonly found locally but there are a couple of imports as well, so I shall be taking my reference books with me!

11.30am: A large box of chocolate brownies has appeared in the office – should keep me going whilst I wade through more boxes of tile!

1.30pm: Have had a discussion with my colleague, Nick Daffern about some finds which I have been recently working on. Nick is a Palynologist (pollen geek!) and these finds were retrieved during an environmental borehole survey that he was overseeing. They included some very well preserved Late Iron Age and early Roman sherds which have helped to date certain areas of the site.

2.00pm: I am starting to spot some patterns in the assemblage regarding certain fabrics being used  for specific tile forms. I am also pulling out the more complete examples so that they can be illustrated for use in the final report. I am hoping that by the end of today, I shall have all of the ceramic building material from the site recorded, so that I can get on with writing the actual report next week.

3.00pm: Back upstairs to help with another display. I wrote the labels last week and these are now printed out and waiting for the accompanying tray of finds. Deb Fox, the Worcester City Museum archaeologist is putting the display together and the finished result looks really effective.

5.00pm: Last tile recorded, last brownie consumed and it’s time to head off for a glass of cava to celebrate the opening of our new ‘home’!