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  • So how was your day?

    By Rachael Sparks, on 30 July 2011

    There was a bit of a buzz in the archaeological community last Friday, as an ambitious project known as the Day of Archaeology took place. Well, there’s lots of days out there: International Days for Peace, Mother Languages, Biological Diversity, Midwives, or World Days for Water, Mountains, Human Rights, and strangely enough, Television (Does it need its own day? Hasn’t it already taken over the world?). Not to mention the International Day of Awesomeness. So why not one for us archaeologists?

    A curator's office - think of it as a work in progress.

    The event was scheduled to coincide with the Festival of British Archaeology, and encouraged archaeologists from all around the world to write blog posts describing their day. A perfect solution, perhaps, to those people who ask –  ‘So you’re an archaeologist? But what exactly is it that you do?’. Well for one day, the answer was clear, with the chance to shadow some 400 archaeologists across all kinds of careers.

    My own day centred around assisting researchers who had come to the Institute of Archaeology Collections to look at pottery, seal impressions, fakes and pastiches and Ptolemaic jewellery, while I wrestled with reboxing archives and European flint – you can see the full details of it all here.

    The posts were pretty diverse, but included many interesting windows into the ways in which archaeology and museums interact, such as:

    • A doctoral student from the Netherlands who spent the day in the British Museum identifying a hoard of weapons discovered by a metal detectorist

    The event was organised by an eclectic group of archaeologists working for organisations such as the Portable Antiquities Scheme, L-P Archaeology, Wessex Archaeology, Cardiff University and UCL, and you can read more about it all here. Personally, I found it a great deal of fun. Lets hope we can all do it again next year.

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