Raksha’s Site Diary: the archaeology of the archaeologists

Our intrepid Field School Manager with news and views from the trowel’s edge…

“I have been working for Museum of London Archaeology in the heart of the city, on deep urban stratigraphy sites. I love love love this type of archaeology! Forget rural sites – give me complex, complicated archaeology dating from prehistory through to the post-Medieval any day.

I have recently been working on a Roman waterfront site in the city, near the Thames.  Apart from the fabulous Roman remains, this week we have found evidence of the earlier excavations run in the 1980s by the Department of Urban Archaeology (DUA).  Back in the halycon days, excavations were run without the current rigorous health and safety standards; to illustrate this, we have found what seems to be the Guinness can of a legendary London archaeologist: Canadian- born Prince Chitwood.

Apparently, he openly enjoyed a tipple or two on site and was always nursing a can of Guinness.  Dates on the back of the can confirm this assumption, with the closing date of a competition firmly stating 1982.  Forget traditional archaeology. This find has given me a fascinating insight into my profession, and has brought forth stories of my archaeological forebears. Who would have thought I’d be digging the archaeology of the archaeologists…fascinating!”

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Raksha Dave

Written by Raksha Dave

A long-time member of Channel 4's Time Team, Raksha Dave is one of the country's best loved archaeologists. Unequivocally, she has never, and will never, be married to Matt Williams.

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