Tomato Pip goes to Berkeley Castle


When you think of an archaeologist, one of the above is likely to spring to mind -a muddy, khaki-wearing adventurer.

Unfortunately I, the first time archaeologist, who has only been digging for three days, look more like this:

Today was the day my skin transformed from milky white to ripened tomato red. For some reason, I decided that it was a good idea to apply sun cream to my nose and chest, and leave it at that. This has resulted in my arms and hands becoming my own personal heating system. If the sunburn lasts until October, as I anticipate it to, I will have no need for coats or warm jackets, as one touch of my forearm is enough to make you want to run your fingers under cold water. I have even managed to burn the top of my hands -a feat previosuly considered impossible. Needless to say, tomorrow I will practically bathe in Ambre Solaire.

As far as the dig itself is going, I would say it’s going well, although any designs I may have had of going into manual labour should all else fail has gone right out of the window. What they don’t show on Time Team is all the back-breaking work that goes into preparing an area for proper investigation. We have spent the past three days scraping, mattocking (i.e. wielding pick-axes!) and shovelling in preparation for the work to really begin. This is not to say we haven’t found anything -on the first day, an Elizabethan coin turned up (which was promptly snatched away by Prof Horton -the mad professor-for a photo opp with the local newspaper). My first find was a broken piece of clay pipe, which excited me at the time, but since the discovery of real human skulls today, it has been put into perspective. As we haven’t really excavated the skulls yet, I shall save that for another day.

We had a JCB on site today to extend the trench, whilst Horton, the mad professor, was in charge of driving the dumper truck. Whoever decided it was a good idea for him to be in control of a vehicle that not only weighs several tonnes itself, but can also carry a vast amount of rock and soil, should be shot.


…scary stuff, as you can see!

More of this tomorrow, followed by the most heavenly break! I intend to sleep all weekend. If I avoid the sun entirely, perhaps I’ll return to my normal colour, or beige at the very least

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