Introducing the 2017 Bradford Kaims Staff

Paul Gething – Site Director


I’m Paul. I believe that good PPE is the key to good excavation.

Post-script by Tom Gardner; Other than being flippant in return emails, Paul Gething is from Yorkshire, has been a professional archaeologist for many decades, and directs our excavations with suitable aplomb and style. When not excavating, Paul is a school governor and magistrate, as well as a writer who has published widely upon the medieval period and the history of Northumbria. He likes ale and fun & games.

Tom Gardner – Project Officer


Hi. I’m Tom, and I’m from Glasgow in Scotland. I am a PhD student in Geoarchaeology at the University of Edinburgh. I have been working at the Bradford Kaims for 6 years, after coming as a student in 2012. What I love most about the project is the camaraderie between staff and students on site, and in our post-work social scene. I am in charge of overseeing the archaeological investigations at the Kaims, and this allows me to get stuck in to the soil science, as is my want. Outside of work, I enjoy sitting around in the campsite having a quiet drink, and participating in the many pub quizzes of Belford.

Rachel Brewer – Project Manager

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Hello, everyone, I’m Rachel Brewer and I’m from Illinois, U.S.A.  After participating as a student in 2014 and working as an assistant supervisor in 2016, I’m excited to be back with the Bradford Kaims Project in the role of Project Manager.  I have a B.A. in History from Southern Illinois University and an M.A. in Archaeology from Cardiff University, Wales.  I’m particularly interested in the Anglo-Saxons and early medieval pottery, but I’ve enjoyed the excavation opportunities, work environment and people at the BRP so much that I keep returning! Back home I work as a secondary English teacher, but I love being involved in fieldwork during the summer holidays. I look forward to meeting and working with all of you!

Rachel Moss – Trench 6 Supervisor


I’m Rachel – otherwise known as ‘Moss’ – and I will be returning to the Bradford Kaims this year as a supervisor. I first started excavating at the Kaims as a student in 2014 and have been coming back ever since. I have spent most of my time at the site in Trench 6 and can’t wait to discover more of its secrets this year. I also love the experimental archaeology we carry out every season, from making pottery to brewing prehistoric beer.

I am currently studying for my undergraduate degree in archaeology from the University of Edinburgh. In my spare time I enjoy reading, good food, travel, and trips to St Mary’s to watch Southampton FC whenever I’m at home down south.

I can’t wait to get back for the start of this season and meet all the students and community volunteers coming to join us!

Anna Finneran – Coring Supervisor


Hi, I’m Anna and I’m from Maryland. I completed a BA and MA at Durham University and this autumn I am returning to Durham to begin a PhD. I first joined the BRP as a student in 2014. This year I will be assisting Dr. Richard Tipping.

Charlie Kerwin – Trench 42 Supervisor

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I’m Charlie and I have just moved back home to London after finishing my undergraduate degree in BSc Archaeology at the University of Nottingham. This will be my fourth year at the BRP, I first came to the BRP as a student in 2014 and became a staff member in 2016 when I undertook the role of Assistant Supervisor on the South Side of the Bradford Kaims. I’m excited to be returning this year as Supervisor of the South Side. In my academic studies my main interest was not actually within prehistoric archaeology, rather they lay within gender archaeology and the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval periods. However, the incredible preservation offered by the wetland conditions at the Bradford Kaims immediately caught my interest and has kept me coming back. Although I am looking forward to overseeing the South Side and I am keenly anticipating what archaeological features will be uncovered during this season’s excavations, it is really the people that have made me return year after year. I’m always thrilled to get to see and work with the great team at the Kaims each season and I am also looking forward to getting to know all the new people who will be visiting the project.

After this season, I’m hoping to continue my education. However, I am leaving the field of Archaeology (with some regret) to pursue an MSc in Development Studies at SOAS University of London.

Franzi Leja – Trench 42 Assistant Supervisor


In my fourth year of returning to this amazing project, I once again put my studies in Bamberg, Germany to a little rest and look forward to the experiences awaiting me and everyone attending the BRP. At my home university I currently work at the department of Geoarchaeology analysing charcoal and am writing my bachelor thesis about vegetation reconstruction. My role in this year’s season will be the assistant supervisor to Trench 9 and Trench 11 at the Bradford Kaims. Our plans and hopes for 2017, including new survey methods, got me extra excited and I cannot wait to reunite with old friends and meet new ones!

Katie Walker – Trench 6 Assistant Supervisor


I am Katie, and I am from Inverness. I am currently finishing my 3rd year at the university of Edinburgh. This year I am an assistant supervisor in Trench 6 at the Bradford Kaims. I am most looking forward to the mighty craic!

Becky Scott- Assistant Supervisor


I’m Becky and I will be returning to the Kaims this year as an Assistant Supervisor because I enjoyed my time here so much in 2015! I have an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and have recently finished an MSc in Environmental Archaeology at the University of Reading where I will be starting my PhD in September. My main interests are Palaeolithic (particularly Lower Paleolithic) and Mesolithic environments, and the use of terrestrial carbonates in archaeology.  I hope you enjoy this photo of me in my element on the coast of Wales looking for Mesolithic footprints. Hopefully the weather at the Kaims will be slightly better than this…

Cuthbert – Dog

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I am Cuthbert. I joined the team in 2015. I’m a dog and I’m friendly but quite slobbery. My favourite type of site is one with a ball.

Introducing… JESSICA GARRATT!!!

Another installment in “Staff Profiles”, meeting your favorite BRP people.

Jessica Garratt

Responsibilities at the project: The best way to describe my job is to assist Alex, the Trench 1 supervisor, in running the trench and teaching students about archaeology. Assistant only to a certain degree. (I am not his personal tea lady).

T1 Assistant Supervisor Jess

How did you get involved with the project?

I first came to the project last season, as I was required to complete 10 weeks of fieldwork for one of my university degree courses. I heard about the project from fellow students and thought it would be great to get my mits on medieval archaeology as this area is not taught in depth at my university. It’s great to be learning about a different culture through remains.

What has your experience with the BRP been like?

I have gained fantastic experiences from BRP seasons (both from BRP’11 and BRP’12 so far). Last season, when I was a student, I found the tuition to be of a high level. I learned absolutely loads, from one-on-ones with supervisors to overcoming my blonde moments! This year, returning as an assistant supervisor, I am doing my best to teach students in the trench. Hopefully, I am teaching correctly. It would be nice to see them leave the BRP with new skills, knowledge, and good memories.I am learning a lot from the trench supervisor. In particular, I’m getting a more in-depth idea of a supervisor’s perspective of archaeology , and it’s fab to be seeing things from this new level.

Jess hard at work

Out of the trench and in my spare time, I get the chance to meet and chill with people from here, there, and everywhere. When not at work, I do everythingfromsitting around the mess tent and chatting, to mini adventures like battling the North sea at midnight, to climbing up the quarry or saving a seal puppy with Kirstie, the finds supervisor (long story). This season’s students and staff are a great laugh, and I am glad to be spending my summer with them.

Hopes for the rest of the season?

I hope the rest of the season is all smooth sailing, especially anything I am responsible for!

Smooth sailing! – Rainy day antics with Alex and Jess

Personally, I want to get to grips with my staff position and gain confidence in teaching students and sussing out the archaeology that’s coming up in Trench 1. It’s looking pretty complex at the moment, but it’s a great challenge. I would also like to get myself down to the Kaims at some point. I miss it and want to see what’s occurring!

Anything you would like to add?

If anything goes wrong, it wasn’t me.

Next up… Jeffrey Aldrich, Finds Assistant Supervisor

(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?