Back to Boneyard for 2017

In what has become a well-worn ritual over the past 22 summers, members of the SHARP team arrived over the past week to set up for the 2017 season, which kicks off today.

Monday: the finds and teaching hut portacabins arrive on site

Monday: the finds and teaching hut portacabins arrive on site

Monday: the marquee goes up!

Monday: the marquee goes up!

The job of converting a grassy meadow into a working archaeological and camping site is enormous, but fortunately plenty of hands were around to take it on. We were hampered a little by over 30 hours of mid-week rain which dampened more than just the landscape!

Nevertheless, the work went on. Unpacking, re-fitting, repairing, finding, cleaning and distributing. The catering staff decided last year’s wooden spoons would become a ritual sacrifice to cleanliness and health in 2017, so they helped to cook Tuesday night’s dinner in a slightly different way to usual.

Tuesday: Terry tends to dinner

Tuesday: Terry tends to dinner

Tuesday: The Burning of the Spoons

Tuesday: The Burning of the Spoons

Wednesday, after relentless overnight and all day rain that brought damp tents, clothes, socks and moods (not to mention loosening the roots of the Enviro Tree) was something of a trial. Fortunately good company and marshmallows kept the home fires burning.

Wednesday: keeping warm with fireside chat and marshmallows

Wednesday: keeping warm with fireside chat and marshmallows

The Enviro Tree, saved from face-planting into Boneyard by its own branches, stayed put long enough for Fiona to move her tent safely. So far it remains in place. Firewood will likely be its fate, so we may soon sadly farewell a long-term Boneyard landmark.

Thursday: the enviro tree develops a threatening wobble

Thursday: the Enviro Tree develops a threatening wobble

Despite the rain, there was still plenty of work, discussion and planning to do, including multiple meetings, formal and informal, to ensure we’d meet our goals.

Thursday: Deborah and John talk Trench 23

Thursday: Deborah and John talk Trench 23

Friday: Boneyard looking bare (not for much longer)

Friday: Boneyard looking bare (not for much longer)

The work pressure was increased a little this year by the need to keep Friday free for our first team induction day. This was a whole-day event, conducted by and for supervisory team members, and covering multiple topics including training, teamwork and leadership. 23 team members attended and all agreed it was a very worthwhile exercise, and a good investment of time that should pay off in the season to come.

Friday: David talks leadership at team induction

Friday: David talks leadership at team induction

Friday: developing trust and communication at team induction day

Friday: developing trust and communication at team induction day

Friday: the Trench 23 (T23) team meet

Friday: the Trench 23 (T23) team meet

By the time the Week 1 volunteers started arriving yesterday, everything was essentially ready to go, and there was even a chance to relax in the very welcome return of summer sun.

Saturday: Deborah ready to bring on the BERTs

Saturday: Deborah ready to roll with BERT

Saturday: Ann, ready for the first finds

Saturday: Ann, ready for the first finds of the season

The new arrivals for Saturday evening introductions and barbecue enjoyed a sunny warm evening which promised to kick off a great first week.

Saturday: Week 1 arrivals get a T23 intro from John

Saturday: Week 1 arrivals get a T23 intro from John

Saturday: barby night!

Saturday: barby night!

Saturday: getting to know you at the Saturday night barby

Saturday: getting to know you at the Saturday night barbecue

Here’s looking forward to great things in Season 22!

Saturday: T23, ready and waiting...

Saturday: T23, ready and waiting for you…

There are still places most weeks for our basic archaeology course (BERT) and specialist training in areas such as human remains and osteology, environmental archaeology and medieval landscape. If you’re keen, check out the website at sharp.org.uk and come join us on the Boneyard!

 

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