(Assistant) Supervisors Maria Buczak and Stephanie Chapman

Another installment in the Staff Profiles. With the departure of Joanne Kirton two weeks ago, the two very capable Trench 3 Assistant Supervisors, Stephanie and Maria, have taken over the running and excavation of Trench 3. Despite seeming somewhat overwhelmed with their new responsibilities at times, those of us standing on the sidelines are marveling at how well they are adapting to the challenge. (I, myself, am at once jealous of their “Trench-Supervisor” status and giddy at the thought that it’s not me having to muddle my way through complex archaeology). In honor of their accomplishments, and with the sudden awareness that the season is moving along, here are their profiles.

Maria Buczak

Position: Assistant Supervisor in Trench 3

 Responsibilities: Supervision of excavation, involved with general running of trench

 How did you get involved with the project?

I first volunteered with the BRP as a student in 2010 and enjoyed it so much that I have come back each summer since. This is the first year I’ll be here the whole season as staff though, and I’m pleased to say that I’m enjoying it immensely so far!

I’ve learnt so much from the project over the years – both about Bamburgh and its history, and archaeological excavation and techniques in general. This project is certainly the best project for teaching that I’ve ever been on and everyone’s so eager to share their knowledge and ideas. Each season is also just great fun -there’s always something going on in the evenings and everyone is so friendly and immediately accepts every newcomer as one of their own.

 What are your hopes for the season?

During the rest of the season, I hope to really get to grips with trench 3 and exactly how a good investigation of such a complex trench should work. I’m eager to see what comes from our excavations in the southern end of the trench. In particular, I would like to see what else we can find out about the possible metalworking structure and associated features we have in this area, as their exact nature and relationships are still not properly understood. It would be great to get some more results back from the hammerscale sampling as well as this has the potential to contribute a great deal of information about the nature of this area of the trench. The finds so far – e.g. our amazing inscribed(?) stone plaque and puzzling ‘doughnut stone!’ – are suggesting its going to be a promising season in trench 3.

Stephanie Chapman

Position: Assistant Supervisor, Trench 3

Responsibilities: To assist with the supervision of Trench 3, teaching excavation techniques and other archaeological skills.

How did you get involved with the project?

I came as a student in 2011 after hearing about the project through the Archaeological Institute of America’s website. I needed excavation experience and am especially interested in North Western Europe during the early middleages.

What do you do out of the season?

I have just finished the third year of my PhD in Early Medieval Art and Archaeology at the University of Missouri. In addition to being a graduate student, I am also a Teaching Assistant for the Art History and Archaeology Department and the Architectural Studies Department.

Hopes for the rest of the season?

Seeing as Jo (the Trench 3 Supervisor) will be leaving after week 4, I hope to obtain a better understanding of the various contexts and features within Trench 3 before she leaves and that Maria and I can continue her plans for the trench after her departure. We have just began to excavate what is believed to be a metal working building in the SE corner, so I am especially excited to see what new development arise–as the area is already proving to be quite interesting!

Anything you would like to add?

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