Archaeology South-East


IoA Placement at ASE 2022-23: Welcome Alex, Iris and Neeve!

20 September 2022

This year’s cohort of students on the Institute of Archaeology BA Archaeology with Placement Year have arrived at ASE. Over the next twelve months they’ll be getting experience in all areas of commercial archaeology. Let’s meet them!

Hi Alex, Iris and Neeve!

What archaeological experience do you have?

ALEX BUDAU: Hello! My archaeological experience is not the most diverse. I did my training course at Ashington in the summer of 2021 and this year I have been supervising for two months the first year students during their training course. Both experiences taught me many things about the excavation process and all the paperwork that is involved. Other than this I did not have the chance to participate in any other experience, but definitely there will be more to come.

IRIS ROSAS DE OLIVEIRA: My actual archaeological experience is next to none. Other than the Downley field course that is part of our degree I have no actual field experience; I hope to change that this year.

NEEVE HARRIS: I haven’t had much archaeological experience before starting the placement year - only this summer when I took part in UCL’s field school at Downley and volunteered with ASE for three weeks in July on the Stanway project. Both sites were very interesting and gave an insight into both research and commercial archaeology projects, and the opportunity to chat with people who are enthusiastic about archaeology!

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

ALEX: That’s why I am here. Since I was a teenager I was interested in Near Eastern history/ archaeology, especially the 2nd Millennium BC in the area of today’s Israel, Lebanon, Syria. Since I have started my degree I became unsure of what I would love to pursue in Archaeology, because so many things are exciting and interesting. For sure the surveying and learning how to use the programs to process the data caught my attention.

IRIS: When I started at UCL I was all about human remains, osteology, however along the way I’ve picked up so many other interests from different specialised lectures that it has been difficult to keep myself focused in just one. I’d say that currently pre-history and human evolution are my favourite.

NEEVE: This is a tricky question as I am interested in quite a few areas of archaeology and it's tough to pick! In terms of artefact type I would say that pottery interests me as it can come in so many forms and tell us a lot about the people who made and used it (especially with fingerprints!) as well as being instrumental in the dating of a feature.

What are you looking forward to about your placement?

ALEX: I am a person that learns better while doing something other than sitting on a chair and reading so I am really looking forward to the practical part of this year.

IRIS: I am looking forward to figuring out my main interests in what is a quite broad academic world. I’m equally excited to spend as much time as possible in the field alongside experienced archaeologists. I have slowly realised I would like to explore the behind the scenes of an archaeological excavation, so it would be quite thrilling to be able to learn about the project management aspect.

NEEVE: I am looking forward to trying out all areas of archaeology, getting a hands-on experience of the commercial archaeology world, learning through practice and being part of a team.

What do you hope to get out of your placement?

ALEX: I am excited to get to know the team and to learn as much as I can from everyone. I really hope to gain more experience in the post excavation process and to find a topic for my dissertation hopefully.

IRIS: I’m hoping to get a more actualised vision of how archaeology can look like in my future. Plus, this is also a brilliant opportunity to go into my last year of uni with a perspective of commercial archaeology I do not presently have.

NEEVE: I hope to gain a broader understanding and experience of the different roles and opportunities available in archaeology, narrow down my interests and potential careers as well as looking at dissertation ideas with commercial archaeology in mind.

What skills or fresh perspectives do you bring to the team at ASE?

ALEX: I am a quick learner and I am oriented to finding solutions when I have a problem, which for sure will support me during my time here.

IRIS: Honestly, it’s probably the cliché perspective of an open-minded, foreign student, with little archaeological knowledge but packed with hordes of curiosity and passion.

NEEVE: I hope to bring my enthusiasm and willingness to learn to the team. I will also bring as my inquisitiveness and problem-solving ideas to the team (alongside many questions!) 

Alex on an excavation, he looks pretty happy in his feature!


Iris doing flotation in the summer sun at Institute of Archaeology fieldschool (Downley)!



Neeve is already out on site with ASE in her first week!




Thanks Alex, Iris and Neeve! 

…and we’re looking forward to all of that problem solving, passion and curiosity over the next year! We’ll hear more from Alex, Iris and Neeve throughout their time with us.

If you’re interested in placements with archaeology visit out Placement Opportunities page. We’ve also got lots of blogs and content from previous placement students for you to enjoy!