7 weeks to go ….
It hardly seems possible but we have only 7 weeks to go until the start of the new excavation season at Vindolanda, which kicks off on the 30th of March. Today the Vindolanda and Roman Army Museum staff have been back in at work getting the sites and museums ready to open their doors and to offer a warm and friendly welcome to our visitors form the 7th of February.
As the countdown continues to the start of the excavations we will be making some exciting announcements about this years dig. We will be hosting some truly exceptional people on the excavations and can’t wait to meet them and introduce them to you. Also the research has been going on while the sites were closed and the post-excavation is starting to really bring out some exciting results from the past two years of work, and we will share those results here with you as soon as they are ready to be released.
But before we can do that we need to welcome two new members of staff who are joining the Vindolanda research, excavation and education team, Marta and Lauren. Both have taken different paths to get to Vindolanda and they have hit the ground running. I have asked them to say a few words about themselves as an introduction and I am sure you will be hearing more from them as the season progresses.
Andrew Birley, Director of Excavations - The Vindolanda Trust
Hi, my name is Marta Alberti and I have recently joined the Vindolanda Trust as archaeologist and assistant to director of Excavations. I graduated in 2012 from the University of Milan, Italy, where I originally come from. My BA in combined studies of Classics and Archaeology, paired up with my experience of excavation of Late Bronze Age and Iron Age sites in cooperation with CSP (Centro Studi Preistoria e Archeologia), gave me a solid background in all things Roman, an unhealthy passion for classical literature and history and kick-started my interest in wielding mattocks and brandishing trowels. In 2013 I was awarded with distinction my MA at Newcastle University: shortly after graduation I started working as a commercial archaeologist on a number of sites across the UK, and have not stopped digging since. As a result, I have more than 4 years continuative experience of excavation, post-excavation, team management and supervision. I am a passionate field archaeologist with a keen interest in gender studies and in all transition phases: I am fascinated by changes in society and landscape over time, why they happen and how. I also enjoy digital surveying and 3D reconstruction, as well as finds’ illustration and writing, both archaeology-related and not.
Hi my name is Lauren Wilkinson and I am the newly appointed Site Education officer and Museum Archaeological Assistant. My passions are discovering the past, and teaching others about it. I studied Archaeology at Newcastle University where I took part in archaeological digs, and studied various modules including Roman frontiers and artefacts. After my studies I worked at various museums across the North East in both front of house and education roles, including Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Discovery Museum, and Great North Museum: Hancock. It was at the latter, where I worked as an Assistant Learning Officer, that my interest in Roman archaeology and teaching about the Romans grew. I planned and delivered two successful Roman based projects funded by the British Museum, as well as delivering many workshops, talks and tours for children and adults. I then went on to further my education by studying for a PGCE and becoming a qualified primary school teacher. The next two and a half years I then spent teaching in a local primary school and running an after-school archaeology club. With all the experience and knowledge I had gained, I was then lucky enough to be offered this very exciting role at Vindolanda, which incorporates both my passions. I hope to continue to grow both as an archaeologist and an educator during my time at this extraordinary site!