Friday, 10 July 2015

Once the digging is done

Now that we've finished excavating the site, what happens to all the things we've found? Our Supported Internship student, Claire, has been helping us to clean, record and photograph the finds from the dig:
Claire with finds from the Lich Street Dig
Hello, my name is Claire Tippins. I've been on the work placement for four months, from the Heart of Worcestershire College as part of my two year Supported Internship program; I will be giving you an insight in what the Archive and Archaeology service do once they've finished digging the site (because archaeology's not all about digging!) .
Site paperwork: hundreds of records all have to be checked and cross-referenced
Once the digging on the site is complete, all the artefacts go through processing where they are carefully cleaned to remove dirt, soil etc. They are dried, then marked with codes that identify the areas where they were found.
Small fragments of a medieval bowl (left) and cooking pot (right), carefully marked with site and context codes

Finds from the dig in our processing room
Then they are weighed, recorded and further inspected to identify their date and purpose.
Senior Finds Archaeologist Laura Griffin identifies and records the artefacts

Our palynologist Dr Suzi Richer inspecting pollen from soil samples
After inspection they will either show some of the artefacts in public events or they are wrapped up, or placed in a plastic bag and placed in a box.
The finds store, where the artefacts are kept cool and dry before they are transferred to the musem
If the artefacts are metal they are placed in a sealed plastic box with special (silica) gel that keeps them dry and helps prevent corrosion.
Another thing we do is a lot of research in trade directories, business records, wills, census records, images, books etc. We do this to know who was living there and what their occupation was, and we do come across some interesting information.
View of north side of Lich Street during demolition, looking east towards the junction with Friar Street

I enjoy all the work I do here, it's different every day and the staff are incredibly friendly and relaxed. They enjoy my company, I love working here!

...We didn't bribe her to say that, honest!

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