July 21st – Festival of British Archaeology

So for the past week you’ll have seen me mention the church at Holcombe many times. The archaeological surveying and studies going on their this past week were part of the Festival of British Archaeology, and it concluded yesterday with a series of presentations inside the church. Attendees to the presentations were mostly locals, but also people who had read about the event in other local papers. In all we had about 45 people turn up, which for a small church isn’t bad at all. We had just enough sitting room.

The presentations started with Dr. Rushton talking about the CCT in general, what they’re doing and the plans they have for the 18 churches they preserve in Somerset county. Part of this presentation involved me going up and, holding the Cameley Head, discussing what we were doing with dendrochronological dating. One person said, “You’re not from around here, are you?” and I said, “What gave me away?” Most of the people I’ve met so far have been really interested in where I’m from in America and how on earth I ended up working on a church in a little English village. One lady in particularly yesterday was very intrigued by how I ended up there and gave me one of those elderly pats on the shoulder saying, “Well I hope you get to do the job you really want to do when you get back to the States.” ๐Ÿ™‚

Following Dr. R’s presentation, the team from Wessex Archaeology gave some presentations about the high-tech stuff they use, including laser scanning and satellite technology. And the finale was a demonstration/fly-around of the drone plane they use to survey landscapes.

I think overall the event was a success, though the lack of any kind of refreshments was noted by many attendees, and I think that can definitely be addressed for the next event. The program material itself wasn’t too difficult to understand, but not so dumbed down that the attendees felt cheated. Throughout the day I was on-hand to take pictures and answer any basic questions about the project at Holcombe, and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I felt useful and appreciated, which is always nice. Not long after we got home Dr R headed out for London, and I’m puppy/cat/house sitting until Monday morning when I head to Bristol.

I don’t feel particularly indignant about having to watch the cat and the dog, but I do wish the dog wasn’t a puppy. She’s completely untrained and doesn’t really listen to commands yet. And I feel awkward trying to impose any training of my own, because it’s not my dog. So, I’m just going to let her chew the rug after telling her for the 20th time not to. I’m doing all this as a favor, in exchange for staying here for free all this time, so it’s not a bad deal. But it’s not ideal either.

Today I have the day off. I think I’m just going to relax and lounge around and try to overcome a slight bout of homesickness that started last night. In the meantime, check out some of the photos from yesterday’s event. Just click the “read more” link below:

Mick Aston giving a short speech about the need for this kind of archaeology:





Dr. Rushton during his presentation:










Outside explaining why the cement render put on the outer walls in the 50’s is actually making the dampness inside the church much worse:



















Outside the south facing entrance talking about where the drone plane will be appearing.






















And that’s all for now. I’ll be posting a non-internship related post soon, with some of the pictures I’ve taken on my days off exploring Wells and Glastonbury. ๐Ÿ™‚


2 thoughts on “July 21st – Festival of British Archaeology

    • Haha, yea. They had me cornered for a while, just chatting. I caught one of the other elderly men taking photos of me while I was talking to Neil. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Not every day an American just drops in on their little village church. Hah.

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