Okay, so I know that might not be a comment one hears very often, but it’s true, I do love my job. In my current job, I get to work on the stuff I love, and don’t have much of the administration and other yucky tasks that I could do without. Plus, when I travel for work, I get to go to really cool places…
Last week I went to Louisbourg NHS in Nova Scotia for work. I’ve wanted to go to Louisbourg since my parents went 20 years ago and I wasn’t able to go with them, so I was really looking forward to my trip.
I was there to spend two days participating in and observing their public archaeology program, as I’m working on a public archaeology project. So I was able to go to a really cool place – Louisbourg, which is a reconstructed fortress which depicts how life was there in 1744 – and I actually was able to participate in an archaeological dig! How cool is that!
They have 2 one-week public archaeology sessions that regular people can sign up for ahead of time and they get to learn some basic priniciples about archaeology and then they get to actively participate in the dig. There are archaeologists there to show them what to do, help them understand what they are finding and answer all kinds of questions along the way. The five people who participated in last week’s sessions were very excited about it. It was a lifelong dream come true for some of them. And I was able to join them for two days! And get paid to do it! How can one not love a job like that?
Lots of item were found while I was at the dig. There were different pieces of glass: window glass, bottle glass (usually blue-green, green or brown) and even some from wine glasses. There was a variety of pieces of pottery: some with tin glaze, some with salt glaze and even this big piece of St. Onge pottery.
There were also bone pieces found, including a few teeth and what looked like a bone from the knee of an animal about the size of a goat or a sheep. Some pieces of metal were also found, but I wouldn’t have recognized them as such if someone hadn’t told me that’s what they were.
I spent less days digging than the others, so I didn’t find as much, but I did find a piece of a clay pipe stem, some glass, some pottery bits and some bone bits. These are very mundane objects, but finding them was still quite exciting for me. Also, it’s all these things, regular objects or unusual ones that give the archaeologists information about that place and how it was used. And that’s the point of archaeology, it helps us to discover how people and societies before us lived. And it was very exciting to be able to participate in that, even for two days.
Here’s the group (the five paying participants), hard at work.