What Archaeology is all about

Saying I’ve got a degree in Archaeology is a bit simplistic. There is so much in it. I think that’s what excites me most. For my degree I did Archaeological Method, Bioarchaeology, Archaeological computing, Landscape Archaeology, Ancient History, Greek and Latin. It was such hard work, and at the end I had hardly started on anything real, just a few visits to British digs and holiday jobs doing pick and shovel stuff.

I graduated without a job to go to. Then before my month looking for Viking relics I skimmed through all the literature on Viking stuff in the department’s library and on the internet and visited the Brit Mus, and other museums, and still I knew nothing by the time I was scratching a trench in Sainsbury’s Car Park.

That’s what makes me so mad. The worry that I might have spent four years of my life learning a trade I’ll never use. And people telling me to take a job, any job, while I “find my feet”. If I do that, I’ll find my feet all right – nailed to the ground. In a way, if I could afford it, I could get any amount of work standing up to my knees in mud somewhere in Britain for no pay. I did plenty of these during the vacations. But I need an actual job, or if I’m going to fund it myself I want it to be really worth while.

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