01 Sep 2022

Hi, I’m Isobel and during my work experience week I have been working at the Council for British Archaeology. I’m at the end of Year 12 and I’m doing Maths, Chemistry and History at A-level. I chose to do my placement at the CBA because I enjoy History and I thought it would be a fun opportunity.   

I have had an interesting time, learning a bit about how everything is run (especially just before the Festival). Everyone has been very welcoming and has given me the chance to find out about their work.

I have mainly been working with the YAC team. I created an activity for the ‘things to do’ section of the YAC website (https://www.yac-uk.org/activity/make-your-own-dyes) based on discovering how people used to create dyes for fabrics before we had chemical dyes. Some seem obvious, like red onion staining fabrics a reddish-purple colour, but also by adding baking soda to turmeric it changes its chemical properties and instead of it staining a yellow colour it dyes fabric a dark red (that’s a bit of chemistry too). It was interesting thinking about how people initially experimented to figure out how to change the properties of the natural materials to create different coloured dyes.

I also spent a day working with the Casework Team looking at applications to make changes to listed buildings. This was completely new to me but I enjoyed finding out about why archaeologists want to protect listed buildings to make sure they can still tell their stories about the past.

I have had a great week and would like to thank the CBA team for their support and time.