Today we hear from the environmental supervisor, Megan Taylor, who has appeared frequently on the blog.
Name: Megan Taylor
Position: Assistant Supervisor/ Environmental Supervisor
Responsibilities at the project: Currently, I’m running the environmental side of the project. This includes teaching students about using the flotation tank, processing and sorting environmental samples, and the importance of recording EVERYTHING. At the same time, I try to impart a little wisdom about the reasons for and rewards-GOLD!!! (among other shiny shiny things)-of doing environmental analyses. I’ve also made it my mission to sort out the environmental samples and records from past years, which means I’ve spent a lot of time this season cataloguing and databasing, as well as organizing and cleaning the Assistant Supervisors office and the “Room of Doom” (the not-so-shiny sample store room). In my spare time, I work and moose-around with my fellow A-Sup’s in the trenches.
How did you get involved with the project: I came to Bamburgh as a student last year, hoping to get some more practical experience in field archaeology. My university courses have provided me with a good knowledge of archaeological theory and history. The BRP taught me archaeology. I love it. They invited me back as an assistant supervisor this year-a position which gradually morphed into running environmental-but even if they hadn’t, I would have returned. I aim to become a permanent feature.
What do you do out of season: I’m studying anthropology and archaeology at Trent University in Peterborough, ON (when not at Bamburgh). In the interim, I work, read, walk, and watch TV. Eventually, I’m hoping to do a Masters in Applied Archaeology and to get a well-paid job as an executive shovelbum.
Hopes for the rest of the season: So much to do, so little time! As per Graeme’s request, the goal is to finish flotting and sorting all the Trench 7 (Chapel) and Trench 8 samples. With all the fantastic help I’ve been getting from the students, we should do it with time to spare. We’re just finishing the T8 samples and will be making steady progress on the T7 samples in the next few days. If I can get everything catalogued, stored, and databased in the next two weeks, I’ll be ecstatic. And I know this will sound super-geeky, but I would love to create an environmental reference database for students (and me!) to use next year. Oh, and a find to top the decorated gold plate… that would be lovely.
Anything you would like to add? Thank you to the stream of dedicated students who have been dumped into environmental. I know it can be wet, dirty, and tedious, but you have all been amazing! Remember the mantra: Waft! Knead! Fishy fingers! Sort. Weigh. Repeat. Record everything!