This guest blog post is by our current student Theresa O’Mahony. She offered to write a blog about her experiences trying to find an archaeological dig that was open to her as a disabled person. We always strive to be inclusive and are very pleased that she has had such a wonderful experience.
As a disabled mature archaeology undergraduate at University College London, it has been very hard to find any excavations or museums which allow disabled people or students the chance to fully participate in archaeology to-day. In general, attitudes from organizations show total indifference or lack of knowledge of how to treat disabled people who want to be involved in archaeology. Leaving many disabled people unable to participate or contribute valuable insights into the archaeological world.
Bamburgh Research Project in Northumberland, is the total opposite of this premise. From my very first email inquiry their relaxed, open, and welcoming attitude has been prevalent throughout the whole excavation. The training in the trenches, weekly lecture, staff always answering my many questions, with many social events in the evenings, the staff at Belford treat every-one with equality. This has enabled me to learn and develop as an archaeologist, the primary aim of my two weeks here.
Quality Teaching and Explanation
Tours of the trenches aid understanding of archaeological features and contexts, then by physically excavating the theory and practice of archaeology come together. Developing you further as an archaeologist and a person, not many excavations have such a holistic approach to disability or care enough even to bother about disabled people who as we all know can make invaluable contributions to archaeology now and in the future.
In the Trenches
If as a disabled person you have not been accepted on most digs or on museum placements like me, Bamburgh Research Project is a breath of fresh air, enabling many disabled people to participate in archaeology, with a can do attitude about any personal limitations. Finally, can I encourage you to apply here and reap the rewards of acceptance and equality this dig offers.