Staff Profile

Today we hear from Trench 1 supervisor, Neal Lythe.

He’s a teddy bear really.

Name   Neal Lythe

Position    Supervisor Trench One and pretty much anything else they want me to do

Responsibilities at the project?

I am responsible for the day to day running of Trench One, which is the trench situated at St Oswald Gate within the West Ward at Bamburgh Castle. I am also responsible for training assistant supervisors, students and volunteers’ archaeological excavation skills and site recording. This year I have also been able to help the project directors with various office management duties which helps lighten their work load and helps with the smooth running of the project.

 How did you get involved with the project?

I came here as a student in 2006 and was bitten by the Bamburgh bug. I was initially here for 2 weeks although I was told that I could stay longer and for some reason they asked me to come back the following year as staff, either they thought I was good enough to be staff or they felt sorry for me haha. That was the season I was told that “I may never leave” and was tied to a fence.

I have since become a supervisor and have loved my time here.

What do you do out of the season?

Away from the Bamburgh madness I work as a full-time archaeologist, well as full-time as there is at the moment. On the more interesting side, I also work weekends at The Paxton Before The House Project, alongside Graeme, Gerry and Kristian, which is a community project in the Scottish borders.

Hopes for the rest of the season?

I want to see Alex (my assistant supervisor) improve even more than he has already and become even more confident within the trench. I want to see the trench progress at a good level, getting through the features that we have while hopefully following on from previous years and get some stunning finds. My main focus for the rest of the season is to discover the relationships between the two buildings that align with St Oswalds Gate and expand our knowledge of what they were used for and how big they were and whether or not the stone building is part of a great tower and archway that spanned the gate cleft. I would also like to see the students continue to improve and continue to learn at the rate they already are.

Anything you would like to add?

I would like to thank all of the students that have worked in trench one this season, for their hard work and dedication to their work. I would also like to thank Alex for an excellent job in helping run the trench whilst I do the less interesting paperwork. I feel so privileged to have been involved with this project, I have made some great friends.

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