I would be lying if I said I was counting down the days to the field school I had to attend for my degree with Liverpool University. Dreading it would almost sum it up. I think the fact I only knew a couple of people in my group and that it would mean a hefty journey back up north that made me resent the fact I had to go. But alas, I must eat my words and admit that I absolutely loved it! It seems that archaeologists are not those boring sods everyone thinks they are!
I needn't have worried about the only knowing a couple of people there because it appears that the alcohol aisle is the best place to meet new friends! Twelfty bottles of Henry Weston's cider (8.2% and at only £1.89 a pop we couldn't resist) and the last cherished bottle of Sailor Jerry rum later the soon-to-be "Fire Crew" was formed. I understand this makes us sound like a bunch of drunkards but it gave us something to bond over and well...we are students!
The 'Fire Crew'
L-R: Moi, Heather, Hasan, Jhodi, Dave, Tom
The dig itself was on the Iron Age hillfort on Eddisbury Hill in Cheshire and was a hive of excitement - for us archaeologists it was anyway! We were the last team of a two year project on the site and so had the great responsibility of finishing the work off. The site had already been dug a whopping nine times so the layers of archaeology had really built up and some how I had ended up with a very complicated section in Area One which bamboozled even the best archaeologists on site as it changed from a simple afternoon job to one that lasted the rest of the week! I believe now it has all been figured out but it definitely caused a lot of head scratching. One amazing find (other than all the awesome Iron Age things we found like the post holes that could form a round house) was the pit cut into Area Three that contained a collection of World War Two trash such as empty tins, medicine bottles and other throw away items; it turns out the hill was used a camping spot by Italian POWs in the area and they seemly left their rubbish behind them.
Me in 'that' section looking OH so glamourous!
We were working eight hour a day but then we were also playing eight hours a night. The Fire Crew gained their notourity on the first day as Dave 'The Fireman' lit our first campfire and the name just stuck throughout the trip as we lit a fire most days. The fires were the perfect place to relax and drink more Henry Westons after a hard day crouched in a hole, and a great place to get to know the people we were working with who included fellow students, lecturers and people from further afield like America, Scandinavia and Bulgaria.
Two evenings were highly eventful as Beeston Outdoor Centre played host to two parties: A Derelict party where we all had to make outfits out of rubbish a la Zoolander, and a Skull & Crossdress party where the boys dressed as pirate wenches (ooh err missus!) and the ladies donned twizzly moustaches and eyepatches. I will admit that far too much alcohol was consumed (Jen, I'm blaming your punch!) on both these nights and so the memories are a little hazy but the pictures have, unfortunately, reminded me of my antics - don't worry readers, I won't inflict these on you! For the Derelict party I fashioned a vest top out of a co-op carrier bag, a skirt from a black bin bag and a vintage inspired hair piece from a toilet roll tube, so I consider myself almost stylish for this event. For the Skull & Crossdress party I cannot say the same. Wearing my Freddie's rolled to the max, blue stripey vest top and black boots I was almost a rockabilly pirate, but then I added the mascara beard and chest hair (which, according to Harvey, looked like a lady garden) and a pencil moustache which wasn't the most flattering look I've ever sported. The men though must be congratulated for their efforts! I've never seen such...interesting looking ladies!
Pinky & Pikey in action at the Derelict Party
Jhodi, Tom & Dave were there in spirit through our sign
Don't we all look dashing?
A Freddie Mercury moment if there ever was!
It couldn't have been done without all these lovely people!
Human slaves in an insect nation!...ARGH ARGH ARRRRGH!!