04 Jul 2022
by Sarahjayne Clements

Life as an enabled/disabled archaeologist

I always wanted to be an archaeologist from being a child. I started by volunteering and then doing an undergraduate degree in Ancient History and Egyptology (where I did my first excavation), followed by a Masters in Archaeology. In 2013 I was lucky to be awarded a salaried Council for British Archaeology placement which I undertook with RCAHMW as a community archaeologist. I had a great time there and learnt so much.

After this I went on to work as a commercial archaeologist on a short term contract until I got a job working as a commercial archaeologist for my current company. Unfortunately after working there a few years I was diagnosed with ME, Fibromyalgia and a pelvic condition and was no longer able to do this type of work. The company kindly gave me a desk-based job where I work between the heritage management and historic environment record teams.

Working in heritage management is really varied which is what I like the most about it. I answer enquiries from members of the public, give advice on the management of sites, deal with licensing requests for information and images and comment on agri-environmental schemes. Adding HER records can also be really interesting because I also get to see other fascinating information at the same time.

Outside of work I attend training and talks related to archaeology as well as being a busy Mum. It can be a difficult balancing act! I am also the social media officer for the Enabled Archaeology Foundation (EAF). This is really important to me to help other disabled/enabled people to participate or gain employment in archaeology.

So far this week I have attended a study day on prehistoric stone tools, added records to the HER relating to water features associated with Ironworks and recorded a video on behalf of the EAF for the Festival of Archaeology.

Sarahjayne Clements

Enabled Archaeology Foundation

I work in both Heritage Management and Historic Environment Record teams. I am also the social media officer for the Enabled Archaeology Foundation.

Contact details

Sarahjayne Clements