So, this is us! The DigVentures core team. But we are incredibly lucky to work with many top-notch specialists and experts on each of our sites, and you can find out more about them on our project pages.
Lisa Westcott Wilkins MA FRSA, Managing Director
After nearly a decade in New York City working in communications and finance, in 2001 Lisa decided to pursue her passion for archaeology by completing a Masters (with Distinction!) at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. Since leaving UCL, Lisa has applied her professional background to archaeological endeavours, including as Director of Museum Operations for the launch of the Museum of the Earth, and Editor of Current Archaeology. In 2011, Lisa was appointed the first-ever Clore Leadership Fellow in Heritage and Conservation, leading to an appointment as the Cultural Olympiad Legacy Project Manager for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. She just finished working on an archaeology documentary for ITV/History Channel, and continues to do consultancy projects that help to bring archaeology to a wider audience.
Brendon Wilkins MA MIfA MIAI, Project Director
Brendon is an award winning field archaeologist with over 10 years experience directing, and managing large, complex sites – usually in advance of major construction projects, such as motorways, pipelines, and railways. With a consistent research and publication record, he has lectured internationally on wetland archaeology, Irish archaeology, and new advances in excavation methodology. His has directed sites as varied as an historic cock-fighting pit in; a large Roman building; and a complicated wetland site at Newrath, Co. Kilkenny, a site dug in such wet and windy winter conditions, he swears it was the moment he started to lose his hair!
Raksha Dave BA, Field School Manager
In 1999, Raksha graduated from the UCL Institute of Archaeology, having already excavated on research projects in Puerto Rico and Texas. In 2000, she secured her first position as a commercial field archaeologist, working for the Museum of London Archaeology Service (now MoLA). After finely tuning her craft over several years, in 2003 Raksha was recruited by Channel Four’s popular archaeology programme Time Team – and she’s been a regular face on the show ever since. She is currently an advocate and a trustee for the Council of British Archaeology (London) and the Young Archaeologists club.
Emily Woodburn, Operations
Emily is not an archaeologist….although, after having spent six years working with Channel 4’s Time Team, she’s definitely picked up a thing or two! She studied Graphic Design & Advertising at Hounslow Borough College before moving into the television industry; starting in post production, then pre-production at Saatchi & Saatchi and finally into commercial production. If you get the chance, ask about her time producing music videos, she’s bound to drop a few extremely interesting names into the conversation. On return from a sabbatical as a Ski Chalet Chef, she finally found her dream job of organising people in and out of muddy holes and is happy to wallow there for as long as possible.
Maiya Pina-Dacier, BSc, MSc, Community Manager
Maiya graduated from UCL with an MSc in Skeletal and Dental Bioarchaeology. She’s worked on excavations as far afield as Rwanda, Spain, the Caribbean and Coventry. After a year working in commercial archaeology, Maiya leapt into the City, carving out a niche as a marketing and communications consultant. Having axed her way through a a jungle of small print, and complex policy conditions to build a culture of customer-friendly communication, Maiya’s back to the field with a trowel in one hand and a twitter feed in the other.
Kezia Evans, BA, MA, Community Archaeologist
Returning back to the fold after a short spell working in the art world, Kezia is DV’s Community Archaeologist, building on her original training in Archaeology and Anthropology (University of Bristol) and Master’s Degree in Public Archaeology from UCL. Her thesis was a study of our first project – Flag Fen Lives – investigating the positive effects of public participation in fieldwork, with our Venturer community as her case study (so she’s eminently qualified!). When not digging, Kezia can be found playing hockey, visiting museums and drinking tea by the bucket load.
Fergus Westcott Wilkins, Site Dog
Fergus is the world’s finest archaeological dog. A natural risk-taker and entrepreneurial spirit, Fergus has displayed a keen interest in digging, and a fine nose for interesting buried things, since birth. A key member of the DigVentures team, Fergus is responsible for on site security, activities, and finding chips on a Friday night.