Archaeology South-East


Meet our 2023-24 placement students: Claire!

Four Institute of Archaeology students have just started their placement year with ASE. Let’s find out a little more about them and what they’re looking forward to over the next twelve months. Meet Claire, excited to have a go at everything but especially public engagement!

A woman kneels on the ground, under a cave, digging with a trowel.

What archaeological experience do you have?

Through each new excavation I did, I slowly stepped further out into the world. After doing a field school in East Sussex, I went for a month-long season in a tiny town in the north of Greece, digging a Neolithic tell site. From there I jumped even further and found myself in a prehistoric cave site set in Palawan, Philippines. Every excavation not only showed me a new hidden piece of human history that I hadn’t seen before but also connected me to the local communities and their stories.

Do you have a favourite period/artefact type/archaeological specialism?

I believe I am most drawn to stories found in Pacific Islands and South-East Asia which is where my family is from. There is so much unknown there, such as in the Philippines where the effects of colonialization show in forgotten pasts. To be able to know the stories of the people who lived in pre-colonial times as well as forgotten tales of ordinary people could help rewrite and undermine the colonial narrative that is currently in place. That being said, I love connecting with communities and engaging in public archaeology so that what we do adds to the local understanding of the landscape and helps excite people about their local heritage. Furthermore, I enjoy the social media outreach side of archaeology, finding creative and engaging ways to tell stories about what we do as well as find!

What are you looking forward to about your placement?

I think I’m most excited to have a better understanding about the archaeological world. All the individual processes as well as the people who make up the company. It’s an amazing opportunity to just have a go at everything and anything!
What do you hope to get out of your placement?
I hope to walk out of this placement with a better idea of where I stand in the heritage sector. To see if commercial archaeology could be my calling or perhaps something else! Keeping an open mind as I see where the year leads me.