Thursday, 25 August 2016

Lauren's A2A experience

My time at GGAT has allowed me to experience a sector of the profession I had no previous knowledge of. Understanding procedure surrounding planning permission, the relationship between companies and archaeologists and the situations in which different report types are needed is invaluable to aspiring archaeologists. Volunteering with such an established and wide reaching archaeological trust has given me knowledge and experience I could not have received from university funded digs alone. I feel as though I have gained an understanding of modern archaeology that goes deeper than just excavation.

Furthermore, I was really impressed with the project's commitment to public engagement with local archaeology and community. It was interesting for me, having spent a lot of my childhood in the area, to discover the archaeology of the region and assisting in making this information available to the public is something I became very passionate about.

I very much enjoyed developing my IT skills and improving my knowledge of the database workings in such a supportive and knowledgeable environment.  Some of my favourite challenges were those where I followed development of the sites through several reports and this gave me a major insight into the process of archaeological involvement in building projects.

This opportunity has strengthened my interest in archaeology and will aid my future career decisions. Overall, I’ve had a wonderful time at GGAT and would love to come back.

James's A2A placement

Where to begin? My name is James, and I recently completed my one-month placement, on the fantastic Access to Archaeology Project at GGAT. I am currently working towards achieving a BSc (Hons) in Archaeology, at Truro and Penwith College, Cornwall.   I volunteered for this placement to gain valuable archaeology related work experience, which will no doubt benefit my future career prospects.

I was feeling nervous on my first day, but Calli and Charina were so welcoming and friendly, I quickly felt at ease. I received a step by step walk-through of how to use the HER system, from the ever so helpful HER team. Equipped with my new found confidence, I managed to get to grips with the archaeological reports, and progressed into more varied records.

I must also highlight the friendliness of the fellow volunteers in the HER office. It was a pleasure to attend the placement in the company of such knowledgeable, and pleasant people. Therefore, I would highly recommend the Access to Archaeology Project to any interested parties.

Brandi's placement with A2A

Student Brandi Hill joined the A2A project this summer as part of Swansea University's Key Heritage Skills Programme:

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Heritage Skills Programme for this opportunity and Charina Jones with Calli for their work during my placement. I would also like to thank everyone I had the privilege to meet during my time at the trust. The placement was an amazing experience and has greatly enhanced my knowledge of the Historic Environment Record.  My heritage placement at the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust has greatly enhanced my understanding of Commercial Archaeology, database management of the Historic Environment Record, and mapping of Southeast Wales. From this placement I now know more of how contracted archaeology is conducted, why it is so important, and what information is recorded. From this experience, I was able to further understand why certain information is recorded and why it is significant for the online database. As a result of my time working with the Historic Environment Record I am now well informed about the maps of South Wales. As an international student, before the placement I had little to no knowledge of archaeology in Wales. This placement has strengthened my knowledge of Wales and Welsh history. For example, during the placement I learned about Roman and Medieval Wales, which I had not had the opportunity before. This placement also gave me the chance to learn more about the Welsh language and the pronunciation of Welsh places.  

The heritage placement has greatly affected me because this was my first time to volunteer in an archaeological trust, which enabled me to understand the history of Wales. I now have contacts with professional Archaeologists and other volunteers. I have a particular interest in heritage and the placement allowed me to meet some archaeologists of Wales and see the facilities of the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust. I was also able to see how archaeology is run commercially and how it is used to benefit everything from a small family home to a large store. It was also great to read about heritage areas in Wales, such as castles and learn about the most common artefacts discovered such as medieval pottery. This has enabled me to further progress in my research and career. I have become more confident as a Ph.D. student and more knowledgeable in the heritage field. Being a recipient of this placement has also positively affected my CV and ability to apply for more placements and volunteer opportunities. It is also wonderful to note that the work I have accomplished at the Gwent-Glamorgan Archaeological Trust is available on the Archwilio website which benefits both archaeologists and the public.