I've been an archaeologist for over ten years but I've only recently started writing and since the pandemic I have become a published author. Visiting schools and bookshops promoting archaeology and creative writing is what brought me here and I have been fortunate to work with some excellent people and organisations helping to bring archaeology to the wider public. This is my first Festival of Archaeology and I feel so excited that I'll be part of a team at Lewes Castle! I have been preparing a range of fun activities for people to join and been keeping an eye on all the awesome things I want to do at the festival too.
I started writing while I was on an archaeological excavation in 2021, I was staying away from home at some accomidation very close to site, so I had a lot of free time after work.
With our volunteers and help from Dr. Edward Caswell, the Oxfordshire Finds Liaison Officer, we are also creating a digital 3D collection which can be found on Sketchfab @OxonMRC. Creating these 3D images, particularly of objects in our reserve collection (ie those not on display anywhere) is fun, hopefully is an interesting and perhaps a more useful medium than a static photo. I am, technologically a 20th century person, but even with a bit of knowledge and nudging in the right direction (thanks to Ed and Dan Pett) I can see the potential and creativity that can come out of 21st century applications. There are exciting times ahead for the Oxfordshire archaeology collection.
In the meantime, as well as the digital accessibility routes to our collection, there is also the need and desire to have a more personal view. The next job is to get Medieval bird bones, fox bones and cat bones from our collection to enable a researcher to study the domestication and feralization of birds and animals. It is the work of such researchers on whose shoulders we stand that enable us to pass on stories to our audiences. If the primary material is not accessible to this researcher, how can I, as a curator, tell you the story of such themes in our galleries and online using our collection to demonstrate the story? Before I go off on a fanciful tangent, there are more practical matters to be getting on with… retrieving the 283 boxes from the stores which contain these bones. Time for some weight training curator style.