Caerleon is nestled just outside of Newport in Wales, and is known for its small leafy lanes, amphitheatre, and immense Roman legionary fortress. This Sunday, an episode of Time Team recounts the three days Phil, Matt and I joined Peter Guest and the fantastic crew from Cardiff University.
Excitement surrounding the research project was already at fever pitch with the discovery of the well-documented Roman port earlier in the season. Matt and I completely immersed ourselves in the experience by not only excavating, but camping with the field team, which set us both off on nostalgic trips down memory lane.
I had forgotten how great it was to be part of a research excavation. The relaxed, no-impending doom time-scale digging, the camaraderie, and of course the hard-core partying, high-jinks and tomfoolery! What can I say, apart from the fact I loved every single minute of it! Even the bit emerging from a tent, bleary-eyed from sleeping on an camping mattress and being enveloped by the smell of bacon cooking. This is what archaeology is all about – being thrown together with a bunch of strangers, learning about the archaeology, but more importantly learning about each other and enjoying a moment in time that cannot ever be recreated. What is guaranteed is that there will always be stories that emerge from every field season. If you ask any archaeologist, they will be able to recount outlandish moments on excavations.
This, my friends, is the stuff of legends. Let’s see if we can create our own this July!