A day in the life of a volunteer…

One of our enthusiastic volunteers, Lisa, has written this blog about the day she spent at our ‘Mill’ site dig:

I think many of us have secretly harboured the desire to be an archaeologist (Time Team have a lot to answer for), so it

Making a start at the 'Mill' site!

Making a start at the ‘Mill’ site!

was with a sense of mounting excitement and anticipation that we headed to St Michael’s for our pre dig training on the very first day of the ‘water mill’ dig. As the tail of Hurricane Gonzalo whipped the leaves off the trees outside we listened to lead archaeologist Rob discuss the findings of the geophysics survey and how he had used the information to decide on where the 1 meter square pits would be dug. The safety advice given, we made our way down the steep, muddy Glebe field , which I had walked past for many years without giving it much, if any, consideration at all…now it seemed that it held so many secrets and echoes of lives long ago.

Three of us worked on our pit (you become quite proprietorial about your pit over the course of the day) – we removed the turf and set it aside to be carefully replaced at the end of the dig and then we set about carefully digging, sifting and recording all our finds. I cannot tell you how pleased we were to find small bits of china, glass, animal bone and small lumps of slag, each piece would be heralded as a newly found treasure. I will never dig the garden and discard little pieces of pottery again.

The sun shone, the valley protected us from Gonzalo, the company was great and Sue Coley’s cakes and a cup of hot tea beckoned at the end of a great day. We reviewed our finds and were delighted the team found a perfect early small green glass bottle, possibly used for smelling salts or laudanum. A piece of medieval pot was a particularly exciting find. We all felt we had learnt a lot and had a memorable day…cannot wait to return , but how good was my hot bath!  I hope I am mobile enough to be of some good on the trail of the Abberley Water mill tomorrow, better than the gym and more fun!

Has this inspired you to volunteer?  Then please use the contact us page to get in touch!

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