Two weeks of sun (some rain), digging and learning ‘Trowel Jitsu’

Hi, we are Stacey and Eloise – second year archaeology and anthropology students at UCL – and we are coming to the end of our time in Jersey. We will be sad to leave; the people, the weather, and of course the archaeology have made this a really great experience!

During our time here we have mastered our shovelling and mattocking techniques, getting them down to a tee, and have earned our brown belts in ‘trowel jitsu’. There have been lots of finds distributed amongst the test pits, so even spending time in the ‘trench of misery’ (Very hard granitic sand!) was worthwhile. Finding artefacts is always exciting, especially when you think about who would have handled them before you and how long ago that must have been.

Surveying the site on the first day

We have also experienced some of Jersey’s attractions, even though the weather was less than cooperative on our day off. Every day on site we hoped for a cool cloudy day but had intense sun, then on our day off it tipped it down for over 24 hours! Despite this we explored St Helier and made the trip across to Elizabeth Castle, where we learnt a lot about Jersey’s history. Some days after work we went down to the beach near camp but never managed to do any more than paddle in the sea, unlike some of the more adventurous students!

Eloise trowelling

Today is our last working day in Jersey and we are writing this from the relaxing surroundings of the stores recovering from last night’s goodbye cocktails and canapés night. It is interesting to see the other side to archaeology finding out what happens to the artefacts once we have recorded them and removed them from the trench.

Today in the stores, writing bags for artefacts

We hope we can return to Jersey and the Ice Age Island project next year and are sad to be missing out on the second half of the dig. Until next time…

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