Thursday, 16 March 2017

Mynediad at archaeoleg a fy nghloddiad archaeolegol gyntaf!/Access to interesting data and my first ever archaeological dig!

Pwy oedd yn gwybod y gallai cofnodi data fod mor ddiddorol. Don i ddim yn gwybod beth yn union i'w ddisgwyl. Wi’n meddwl ron i’n disgwyl teipio mewn llawer o rifau mewn i lawer o flychau bach er mwyn i rywun gasglu’r data yn rhywle. Ar ôl sesiwn gynefino defnyddiol ac yn llawn gwybodaeth dysgais fod hi’n llawer mwy diddorol na hynny.  Mae’r staff yn rhoi rhif benodol i fi ffeindio adroddiad archeolegol  yn yr archifau, wi’n ei ddarllen trwyddo, dod o hyd i'r ardal ar map digidol CAH, ysgrifennu crynodeb o'r wybodaeth berthnasol, ychwanegu manylion o ddarganfyddiadau, cyfeirnodau grid, cysylltiadau i ddigwyddiadau eraill, llyfryddiaeth/au  a llawer mwy. Roedd yn hawdd i ddysgu'r proses hefyd, oherwydd aeth Calli a Charina drwyddo gam wrth gam gyda fi, gan ddechrau gyda chofnodion haws ac wedyn adeiladu i fyny’n raddol i rai mwy cymhleth. Mwynheiais shwt gymaint gofynnais i barhau ar ôl i fi orffen y grŵp cyntaf o sesiynau ac wi'n dal yma bron i chwe mis yn ddiweddarach. 

Does dim cymwysterau mewn hanes neu archeoleg gen i ond dwi eiseos wedi ymddiddori yn y ddau ac hefyd ron i eisiau gwella fy sgiliau TG. Dwi wedi dysgu shwt gymaint am yr hanes a’r archaeoleg De Cymru a gall yn awr yn ychwanegu fy sgiliau TG newydd ar fy CV. Dwi'n gwirfoddoli ar gyfer fy nghloddiad archeolegol cyntaf erioed ar ddiwedd y mis hwn ac yn edrych ymlaen yn fawr at hynny!


Who knew data entry could be so interesting. I really didn’t know exactly what to expect, I think I expected to be typing in lots of numbers into lots of little boxes so someone could collate the data somewhere. I had a very helpful and informative induction session and discovered that it was going to be far more interesting than that.  I’m given a number for an archaeological report to find in the archives, I read it through, find the area on the HER digital map, write a summary of the relevant information, add details of finds, grid locations, links to other events, bibliography/ies and much more. It was easy to learn the process too, because Calli and Charina took me through it step by step, beginning with easier entries and gradually building up to more complex ones. I enjoyed it so much I asked to continue after my first group of sessions finished and I’m still here almost six months later. All of the GGAT staff are really welcoming, friendly and helpful; one of the best places I’ve ever worked. 

I have no qualifications in history or archaeology but have always been interested in both and I wanted to improve my IT skills.  I’ve learned so much about the history and archaeology of South Wales and can now add my updated IT skills on my CV. I’m volunteering for my first ever archaeological dig at the end of this month and really looking forward to that!


Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Julie's Access to Archaeology experience so far!

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was a volunteer digger for Cardiff University’s archaeology department and somewhere out there is a tiny, perfect glass vessel, from a pit at the Roman fort under Cardiff Castle, with my fingerprints on it.   I’m certain the prints remain because they had to prise it out of my hands; I had never seen anything so lovely.  Forward through time and careers unrelated to archaeology to volunteering at GGAT from October 2015.  My work is with GGAT’s Historic Environment Record (HER), populating the database that provides information on archaeological sites, excavations, buildings etc, etc, etc throughout South East Wales.  I understand GGAT has around 25,000 records of archaeological interest but no one expects you to do them all yourself!  It’s absorbing work, tricky enough at the start to really engage your interest but, as Charina and Calli (look them up on the website) are really gifted trainers, straightforward enough for you to realise very quickly that ‘I can do this’.  And they are clever because once you start thinking, ‘I’ve certainly got the hang of this process’, they come up with something new to catch your interest all over again.  And it’s also perfect work for the inquisitive, I nearly said nosy, because it’s all about our area.  On top of that the staff at GGAT clearly love what they do.  I will never forget the excitement of GGAT’s Outreach Officer (special interest: military remains in 20th century) when a member of the public rang in to say that he’d located, using digital photography, a cross on a field near the coast that had been used for aircraft direction finding in WW2.  Seems the Outreach Officer had known there should be one and never found it and suddenly there it was.  Enthusiasm is catching and, as we listened to the increasingly optimistic, if one sided, phone conversation, everyone in the office started dashing to their computers to try to locate it.  I think you might have enjoyed/ will enjoy it here yourself.