The following blogpost was written by a student who attended the field school during Week Seven.
The Poulton Research Project consists of a group of enthusiastic and passionate individuals who come together with students and volunteers with a central focus of researching and discovering the layers of hidden history which lie beneath the damp, dark earth at Poulton, near Chester. As an A level student, I realised they had a method of teaching which can easily be described as ‘learn by doing’. Wasting no time at all, you are quickly thrown in at the deep end on an exciting challenge and you quickly come realise how everything works and what you should be doing.
Everyone on site works as a co-ordinated and professional team and there is always someone there to help and offer expertise in their speciality areas. From a personal point of view, despite knowing very little at the start of my week, the experts were always there to guide and advise in a energetic and constructive way. This meant I always understood what was going on and I learned an incredible amount about excavating techniques, recording, photography and skeletal remains as the week progressed. The bone cabin and museum on site also provide an incredible insight to the finds at the excavation site and reflect the progress that has been made and the research that is continually being carried out at Poulton.
Everyone working at the site has a friendly and welcoming attitude and this combined with the variety of age groups means that the experience is stimulating and varied. During the week, I grew closer and closer to everybody I was working with and certainly felt extremely welcome. Although the facilities may be basic, they provide everything you could need and most importantly they have an incredible selection of biscuits! With a huge amount of remains to work on there was never a dull moment and they even managed to fit in a lesson on archery and an opportunity to fire a longbow – something I particularly enjoyed.
I thoroughly enjoyed my week at Poulton and would recommend it to anyone interested in archaeology or even just history. It is most definitely an opportunity not to be missed. Thanks to all – especially Alison and Kevin who are not only real pros, but also have a great sense of humour and make everything so memorable and rewarding