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Website Review: Day of Archaeology 2011

Ever wondered exactly what an archaeologist does? Or how many trowels each day scratch away at the surface of our history? And, perhaps most importantly, do they all wear multi-coloured jumpers? Whatever your burning question, this site could hold the answer. 

On 29th July 2011 archaeologists around the world will document their work, providing a snapshot of the archaeological world through blogs, photos, and videos. Anyone and everyone involved in archaeology is welcome to contribute – whether you’re an experienced archaeologist, a student, or just a keen amateur. 

Day of Archaeology 2011 is being supported by various well known archaeology groups, including the Council for British Archaeology and the British Museum. The project was created by Lorna Richardson (University College London/CBA London) and Matt Law (Cardiff University) earlier this year, and has quickly generated the support of other colleagues within the field. 

If you’re new to the field, or still considering whether or not archaeology is for you, this is going to be a great introduction. It can be more than a little daunting when you walk onto your first dig with shiny new trowel, and the more advice you can get the better. How often do you get to talk to a real archaeologist? Well here you can meet lots of them! With posts being tagged on the map, it will be easy to find out what’s going on near you. 

Currently the site consists of the bare bones, with the majority of the content to appear in a few weeks, it won’t be long until the site will be teeming with activity. The project has already generated a lot of interest It reminds me of creating a time capsule and burying it in the back garden. I can picture future archaeologists looking back and thinking, “Really, you’re using one of those? Poor things, how did they manage before modern technology…” 

Although particularly useful to those interested in getting into archaeology, I believe even the most experienced archaeologists can learn something – even if they’re only reminded how their student labour force on site feels! 

So regardless of your part in archaeology, sign up and contribute. The more people that join in, the more views available to be seen, and the more we’ll learn. 

If you want to follow the progress of the project you can find them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter using #dayofarch. 

Author: Sarah Poulton-Smith for The Archaeology News Network [July 11, 2011]


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