Venturer profile: Rita Baker



Rita Baker

Rita tells us about how she came to love archaeology and why she can’t wait to dig with us this year

“I am no archaeologist but I have a lifelong love of history and archaeology. It all started in the early/mid 80s, when, growing up in Dresden (East Germany) my local church was in dire need of renovations. In a communist country, being a member of a church was a big no-no. There were not many parishioners who could contribute and no money from the government of course, so it was all hands on deck. What we found out in the process was amazing… the foundations go back to the mid 14th century and the layout was very different then.  In the 20+ years that have passed since the Berlin wall came down we have been able to learn a lot more, for instance, we know that Napoleon stood on our spire to watch one of the battles on the other side of the river… wow!

Fast forward a few years and I was not allowed to go to university to study archaeology due to being a church member and not part of the communist youth movement. Oh well, I became a 5th generation gardener instead (still digging up dirt!). When the wall came down, that was all brought to an end. So a few years later I re-trained in tourism and worked in the field (wholesale) for about 8 years.

Now I live in New Zealand and have my own little business, as believe it or not, a Maori Fibre Artist (a flax weaver in plain English). It is one of the oldest arts in Maori history, and not just Maori, every emerging culture would have had weavers to supply not only clothing but also ropes, fishing nets and baskets to transport things.

I am still very much interested in History and Archaeology and every two years or so (depending on the tight money), I go over to Europe for a holiday that HAS to include at least a week or two in the UK to check up on some of the historical sites.

Because of this, I found Flag Fen last year (though it was before the DigVentures Dig). I kept a close eye on it and found out that I could be part of something that would change my life and explain history.  So this year I’ll be joining you for a whole week… and I can’t wait!”

Thanks Rita, what an amazing story!

Join Rita and the rest of the team this Summer by clicking here

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Written by Polly Heffer

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