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 Archaeology Student Reports

This page is where you will find reports and photos from participants about their experience on our Archaeology placements.

Placement: Italy Host: Etruria Nova Onlus

Alvin Chua, 2014 participant

“More experience in archaeological fieldwork. Be better at conducting archaeological fieldwork, especially pertaining the documentation process.”

Emma Gilhooly, 2014 participant

“Experience working in another country on an archaeological excavation. Experience adapting to living in a new place with different people.”

Timothy Penn, 2014 participant

“Do not expect Italian dig sites to conform to your expectations of how an excavation should operate; I had previously excavated once in the UK and four times in Italy and Etruria Nova is very thorough – unlike some other sites I’ve worked on – but it takes some getting used to their different way of doing archaeology. I swam in the sea most evenings, and explored the local area, by foot, using local trains or by hitchhiking. Locally, there are a number of archaeological sites including two medieval castles (at Policastro and Torre Normana) and a Roman Villa at Sapri (where I swam out to the remaining ruins of the Roman boat sheds and read my book). Etruria Nova also organised a number of cultural outings museums at Praia a Mare, Isola di Dino, Roccagloriosa and Paestum on weekends. I also independently traveled to Naples to visit Herculaneum and the National Archaeological Museum. When I wasn’t engaged in archaeological adventures, I read or socialised with my colleagues from the excavation as well as Italian locals, since I am a fluent Italian speaker.”

Shauni Brocklesby, 2013 participant

“The placement has benefitted my employability, experience and confidence to a very high degree. I am much more confident as a person and within archaeology theory and practice. It has been such an amazing experience that i am desperate to go again next year!”

Eleanor Dove, 2013 participant

“I have now gained extensive experience in working on an archaeological site. I had previously only worked on a cemetery and this new experience has broadened by knowledge considerably. I now understand about contexts and harris matrixs and how to take levels. These were areas not covered in my degree. I am now doing an MPhil and hope to return to Italy to work on the Etruria Nova projects. I have gained experience working abroad and now feel better equipped to look for employment abroad”

Jeremy Brown, 2013 participant

“After the Mobility, I now feel more confident in many archaeological processes and methods. I learnt about digging techniques, technical drawing and measuring, using a wide range of industry-specific equipment safely and accurately. Having gained this experience, I think I will be more able to understand academic writing which includes archaeology, and I will be better placed to handle and interpret historical artefacts. This will be useful since I would like to study for a Masters degree and work in a museum in the future. In addition, I am very happy at having had the opportunity to practise and improve my Italian.”

Placement: Romania Host: Satul Verde

Christina Lundberg, 2015participant

“The receiving organisation (Satul Verde) was unknown to me when signing up for this student mobility opportunity. Satul Verde turned out to provide the best placement I have ever been on. Very well organised, and as it turned out half way through my placement, they were flexible and willing to adapt the originally agreed plans, in order to accomodate my further cooperation with Universitatea 1 Decembrie 1918, Alba Iulia, which carried out the archaeological excavation I took part in. The university and excavation staff welcomed me into their team. My work with the university staff led to wider assignments in assisting with the English in papers for publication, and there are plans for further cooperation in the future. This has been a very valuable professional experience for me, and I believe, equally beneficial to the Universitatea 1 Decembrie 1918.”

Jennifer Osborne, 2015 participant

“The receiving organisation (Satul Verde) was fantastic in providing us with information during our drive to the first part of our placement in Romania. Everything was well organised, the accommodation was exactly what we needed during our stay. The excavation itself was amazing; our site supervisor Calin was outstanding. The effort that Calin went to to make sure that we enjoyed our time in Alba Iulia was over and above what we could have hoped for. The accommodation provided at the second part of our placement was also very good, although it could have benefitted from more frequent access to a washing machine considering the placement we were on was archaeological excavation. Apart from that, there were no problems. The team at Zalau were also very welcoming and again I learned a lot from our three weeks of excavation with them. Overall, the entire two months placement in Romania was a fantastic experience, and I believe I have learnt a lot from those we met whilst we were there which have enhanced my skills in archaeology as well as other areas.”

Danielle Hill, 2014participant

“I learned the different techniques used to remove topsoil and how to use an automatic level. I also saw how different osteology labs are and how to record finds. All of these things will help me in my professional career and hopefully assist me in other excavations abroad. I often went to the university after working on site, or on Saturdays. I also visited museums, the citadel, and local nightlife. We had a great trip to the salt mines in Turda. I enjoyed walking around the city and around the mountains to see different sites. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. The city is very beautiful and there are lots to do, although many sites are over an hour bus ride out of Alba Iulia. The local food is delicious and everything you would find in a Tesco you can pretty much get in Kaufland, the main superstore. You are given utensils, pots and pans so there is no need to bring anything with you. You can also get lots of cheap, amazing pizza and even chinese food. A pub in the moat of the citadel even does karaoke Thursday and Friday nights”

Joel Fagan, 2014 participant

“I have gained experience in working with human remains, which has further increased my knowledge in object handling, something invaluable in becoming a curator. I have gained numerous contacts within Romania and England that could provide me with further employment in the future. I have understood to an extent a culture, which has impacted my view on Romania on the whole. There was a friendly atmosphere within the accommodation, which led to gaining numerous friends. I particularly went on many hikes with the site supervisor, Calin who had been absolutely fantastic with us, it was a real pleasure to have met him. The countryside around Alba was truly beautiful. The team at Alba are hard working and will always go out of their way to make you feel at home. They are incredibly knowledgeable and will teach you everything they can. I can call them friends and will love to see them again.”

Hannah Pighills, 2013 participant

“I have gained so much more confidence in myself and in my own ability as an archaeologist. I have also gained knowledge on European Archaeology. More importantly I have made some fantastic friends with the girls I was on the placement with and with Satul, Calin and Mihai. It has given me much more experience which will help when finding a job related to my field. Moreover, I was invited back to Alba Iulia by Mihai and Calin to help out in a Conference at the University, so I have more contacts within the academic world. We explored Alba Iulia and the amazing pubs and restaurants. We were also taken by Satul to local villages and towns for craft fayres, festivals and to explore. In addition, Calin took us on walks around the surrounding countryside. Advice to others would be to take advantage of the fantastic opportunity and to get involved with the Romanian culture.”

Sara Anderson, 2013 participant

“I feel that this experience has extremely enriched my personal life as I love learning about different cultures and I would be very inclined to visit Romania multiple times in the near future. This experience also allowed me to meet some amazing new people who I am now good friends with. This experience has impacted my profesional life as I have discovered that I very much enjoy the archaeological area more than I thought I would. I am heavily thinking of doing a MSc which is closer related to this field. For future participants, I would encourage you to get immersing yourself in the culture by trying local cuisines and taking part in different traditions. Make sure you are fully prepared for the heat and that is always helpful to bring your own equipment such as a trowel.”

Laura White, 2013 participant

“It is an incredible opportunity and should not be missed. Anyone who is wary or worried about travelling away to work should have no worries when it comes to this organisation as everything was taken care of more or less, there were very few if any problems and always help to be had from the host organisation. It truly felt like being with family: the other participants and those who were helping with the host organisation. This Mobility has given me further skills within an archaeological excavation and more techniques I can use on future digs. I think the excavation in Romania had better techniques in comparison to the excavations I’ve been on in Wales. This placement has also given me new contacts and great friends within Romania and elsewhere in the world.”

Carolina Ferreira, 2012 participant

“I have developed practical skills in archaeological excavation, finds processing, analyses of skeletal remains, and understanding of ceramic reconstruction. such skills and experience will benefit in my applying for archaeology-related jobs specifically relating to fieldwork, as well as providing me with new skills that i will be able to apply in both my job and future academic career. the mobility abroad has affected me also on a personal level by introducing me to a world of opportunities, to the beginnings of understanding and appreciating a different culture, and providing me with the incentive to look for work abroad.”

Kirsty McLeod, 2012 participant

“Apply for a Mobility placement, it has got to be one of my the best experiences ever!!  Do not be afraid to show off any skills/training that you have acquired at university, places such as Romania have limited access to professional help and support and will always value your help and advice!”

Placement: Slovakia Host: Ipel Union

Emily Morris, 2013 participant

“I felt that the experience of working abroad has given me a completely different experience to working in the UK and I feel that this experience my help in my favor when it comes to applying for a job in commercial archaeology. It was a wonderful experience and truly worthwhile doing. I learn’t many new techniques and it was fantastic to work in another country. In my free time I relaxed at the accommodation, and on a few of the free weekends we made trips to some of the surrounding cities, inckuding Vienna, Bratislava, Esztergome and Budapest. We also made a trip with our host organiser Tibor to a few local museums.”

Chloe Dyche, 2013participant

“The experience I got from this programme will greatly improve my CV when applying for future jobs and I have learnt many new skills and the basics of two languages. We either spent our time around the pool at the Vyskovce nad Iplom accommodation or went on excursions, these included: Bratislava, Budapest, Vienna, Sturovo and Esztergom.”

Jennifer Clifton, 2012 participant

“The benefits I have gained from my mobility abroad include the knowledge that I can work in a team with people I had no prior knowledge about and achieve the tasks set. It has also given me the confidence and possibly the chance to be able to work aboard in the future. Having had this opportunity to work abroad I would seriously consider looking for a job and living abroad once I graduate. I think it has also proved to me that sometimes I need to be more open minded about the ways in which different people approach tasks in a different manner but still achieving the same result. During our free time we travelled to Budapest, Prague, Slovensky Raj national park, Bratislava, Bojnicy, Banska Stiaunica and Visegradi (Hungary). At weekends we stayed in backpacker accommodations, of which there seem to be plenty in Slovakia and Hungary. Free time during the week was spent socializing in our accommodation or at the local pub at the end of the street. If the weather was very hot we went swimming in the local river, the locals were helpful at indicating the best and safest area for swimming.”

Jessica Went, 2012 participant

“My understanding of archaeological excavation and recording has been very much enhanced during the placement and  reports I write on the placement will contribute to my degree. After work we would often relax, visit the internet cafe etc. At weekends we got to really experience the culture and heritage of the area, visiting lots of castles, places of historical interest and a medieval festival, all of which contributed to a very rounded experience and understanding of the archaeology and development of the area. We also visited places such as Slovenski Raj National Park, Bratislava, Vienna, Prague and Budapest which were all great experiences.”

Placement: Bulgaria Host: Rousse Museum

Jaimelee Twigge, 2014 participant

“The Host organisation (Rousse Regional Museum of History) was incredibly welcoming. The Mobility abroad has helped tremendously with my confidence in undertaking new tasks in a professional enviornment; interacting in a team; and travelling abroad. I feel that I have gained new archaeological skills working in conditions that are different from University digs in the UK and can use my own initiative when working more fluently. I expect that I will become more competent professionally and will have a valuable experience to add to my CV. I also expect that on a personal level, I will be far more confident travelling, meeting new people and applying for opportunities outside my comfort zone.”

Carissa Beukes, 2014 participant

“This experience has offered me an opportunity to grow as an individual by introducing new cultures, languages, and a different way of life. In a professional sense, this experience has offered me the unique opportunity of branching out of my skill set and utilizing the skills and techniques studied in my course as well as learning new skills and methods. Try everything and anything. Its a beautiful country filled with wonderful people. Cherven is a fantastic site to work on and Bulgaria is a truly great country to work in. Open your mind to the possibilities and great things will happen!”

Emily Bowyer, 2013 participant

“I have gained a lot from the mobility abroad. I have gained a great deal more knowledge about medieval Bulgaria as well as learning much about modern Bulgaria and its culture. The mobility has given me a great deal more confidence and I believe that this as well as the knowledge that I have gained will help me to get a job.  Take plenty of suncream and insect repellent as they like foreign blood! Also take a hat and drink plenty of water. Bulgaria is a very relaxed country and remember to take this into account when digging there as it is likely to be very different to excavations in the UK.”

Robin Charnley, 2013 participant

“This experience has first of all really helped consolidate my existing fieldwork experience and built on those skills. It has also added another country to my list of excavations and therefore has been an asset to my CV and has no doubt aided me in getting my first archaeological job which I start later this month, so participating in this experience has been a huge professional benefit to me! As for the personal aspect my horizons have been significantly widened, not just to the wealth of amazing material culture Bulgaria has to offer (of which I was previously unaware) but also to a country and people who I knew very little about. I now feel I have a greater understanding of that part of Europe, which was something I never possessed before and feel that Bulgaria is often unfairly stereotyped in the British press and is a much more advanced and beautiful country than people realize.”

Alice Williams, 2012 participant

“I learned a lot about Bulgaria as a country, how archaeology can be done and the role it has in Bulgarian society. This certainly gave be a broader understanding and appreciation of archaeology both in Britain and worldwide. I think this experience will impact how I view and work with archaeology in the future for the better.”

Placement: Cyprus Host: Akrotiri Environmental Centre

Adam Klups, 2013 participant

“The placement shows my involvement in professional projects abroad and will surely be a valid point on my CV and something that I will talk about when applying for a new job. Most importantly, I was also invited by the site director to return to Cyprus in the next season as a researcher, which illustrates how useful this opportunity has been for me.”

Karen Courtney, 2013 participant

“This was a fantastic experience, on a brilliant site. Being thrown in with a group of people who don’t know each other can be a challenge, but be prepared to compromise, and if you need time to yourself, don’t be afraid to take it. I have gained in confidence and archaeological ability, especially regarding different practices and techniques employed in different countries and environments. I gained an understanding of the approach towards archaeology and the attitudes within Cypriot archaeology. I anticipate that this experience will increase the likelihood of my finding a practical job within archaeology, and boosting my CV in terms of demonstrating my confidence and adventurousness.”

Christopher Simmons, 2012 participant

“I now have a better understanding of how Cypriot Archaeology works and I have a renewed interest in an archaeological career. I enjoyed it so much and the people there were so friendly that I am planning to save up and return next year as an self-financed volunteer.”

Joel King, 2012 participant

“There are many benefits I have/will receive from my placement. The experience alone was one which I will always appreciate. I consider it a great opportunity to be involved in a subject I love in such a fantastic environment. The Department of Antiquities and their representatives were nothing but helpful, and made the experience all the more enjoyable. It has further encouraged me to keep pursuing a career in archaeological excavation. In regards to the professional impact, I have no doubt that to be involved in such a programme will be of great help, showing an experience which of obvious benefit in applying for positions in the subject. In our free time we took the opportunity where possible to visit various different places of interest, such as archaeological sites, monasteries and city visits. When we weren’t on an excursion we spent time in Akrotiri mostly visiting local beaches for the afternoon.”

Victoria Lockwood, 2012 participant

“I would definitely recommend going on a GRAMPUS dig. It was great fun and will remember it for a very long time! I have met some great people who I hope that I will remain friends with for a long time. It was a great way to gain some archaeological experience, and even better that it was in the sun! It was great to experience a different culture and meet lots of interesting people.”

Placement: Finland Host: Kierikki Stone Age Centre

Jeremy Hallatt

“The aim of the excavation was to excavate a Stone Age dwelling before we returned home and to thatch as much of the reconstruction dwelling as was possible. The project was successful in that it achieved both of the above aims during the duration of my stay. The dwelling in trench A was fully excavated and recorded and filled in before we left and we managed to thatch as much of the roof as possible. The whole experience for me has been very worthwhile in that before I came on the project I did not know exactly what I wanted to do with my career. This project has given me a greater insight into life as an archaeologist and I now know that I want to be in this sector of work. I came into the project with an open mind and I have learnt skills in how to thatch a roof, draw and record finds, flint Knapp and also using the Finnish method for excavation. Kierrikki certainly has a good future as there are plenty of dwellings to excavate it would be interesting to come back in a few years and see what has been discovered. I never expected to find a quartz scraper or to be in a newspaper and TV or try so much experimental archaeology this truly has been an enlightening experience for me and I would recommend it to anyone.”

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission

This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.