Losing Your Trowel

Considering how dearly archaeologists cherish their well-worn trowels…

Could breaking or, perish the thought, losing your favourite trowel follow a similar pattern to the five stages of grief (otherwise known as the Kübler-Ross model)? In search of enlightenment, serial trowel loser Brendon Wilkins retraced his steps, starting with…

1. Denial

What are you on about? Of course I haven’t lost it. No I put it down next to… erm… Trench 6. Yep that’s right, the one they’re back filling right now. Or it’s in the Site Hut on the table. Definitely on the table. Definitely maybe on the table. Or next to… no. I can’t have back filled another one. Law of averages says I can’t have buried another one…

2. Anger

FOR ****’S SAKE THAT’S THE SECOND ******* TROWEL THIS ******* WEEK!!!! WHO STOLE IT!? SOMEBODY DID.  MUST HAVE. *******’S. MORTIMER ******* WHEELER NEVER PUT UP WITH THIS ******* ******* IT’S JUST SO ******* UNPROFESSIONAL!!!

3. Bargaining

Hiya. Do you mind if I have a quick look at your trowel? It’s just that mine had a tiny scratch on the handle a bit like… Yep, just like that, though obviously, it didn’t have your name on the handle like this one. Did you just find it? Are you sure? Did you just write your name on it? Are you sure? Are you sure you’re sure?

4. Depression

I can’t believe this is happening. To me. Again. It’s just not fair. Why do bad things happen to good people? And keep happening. Twice a week on average. I don’t know why I bother. I don’t know why anyone bothers. I hate archaeology. It’s just so… hopeless.

5. Acceptance

OK. So it’s happened again. I accept that now. It’s my destiny to lose trowels. But if nobody had ever lost anything, there’d be nothing for archaeologists to find. So really, losing stuff is a good thing. A great thing even. I’m part of an honourable and noble tradition. Trowels are ten a penny anyway, and that one had a well dodgy handle. So let’s celebrate! Pub anyone?

Now, where did I put my wallet?

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Brendon Wilkins

Brendon Wilkins

Co-founder and Projects Director at DigVentures, Brendon heads up our field and post-ex team. Aside from field archaeology, his specialisms are cheese, tea and writing animatedly about himself in the third person.

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