So to week 2 of the DigVentures ‘How to do archaeology’ course. After week 1, which I presumed would be an easy, generic program, was absolutely nothing of the sort.
I completed week one quite quickly, having the time currently to disseminate the information. The weeks topics included why and when do we dig? Project planning and Setting up an archaeological site. After completion a quiz is provided, asking questions included in the first weeks sections. I thoroughly enjoyed week one. The questions added explanations after answering and upon completion, this generated access for week two.
Now i’m a tad late finishing and reviewing week 2, but hey, that’s the great thing about the course, I can work on it whenever I want, and the access via any digital platform means I can even work through whilst sat in the canteen at work ( Which will begin next week as I exit furlough) So this week i’m cramming before my return to work.
One thing I failed to mention in the week 1 review, is the inclusion of video introductions and dig diary shorts, directly related to the chapter, or subsection you are working on. This a valuable addition as it gives an overview before the text breaks down the information.
Onto this weeks content. Recognising archaeology, What is an archaeological context? and What is stratigraphy? I am mind blown that the knowledge I thought I had is not even slightly what is involved in this course. The Topics mentioned breakdown into perfectly manageable and understandable sections where we are taught about stages of excavation, cuts, deposits, structures, sediments and the identification of all, as well as the correct order of excavation.
Again the chapter ends with some well presented quiz questions, each multiple choice offers an paragraph on if you are correct, and if not why? And an explanation as to each of the answers, right or wrong. So the learning continues right down to the wrong answer.
I can not wax lyrical enough about this course and especially for the work I have seen DigVentures participate in over the last few years. Their innovative interactive relationship with the public, has given anybody the access, at any level they wish, moving forward what ‘Time team’ brought to us on the TV screens.
I have perused the DigVentures site in depth. Their is so much to see and learn. I especially like the subscription option and what you can gain access too. Sadly the current economic environment does not allow me to register for this, but in the coming months I will certainly look into joining. DigVentures have certainly created a modern archaeological focal point for all areas of the field, from beginner to professional and even the somebody only occassionally popping in. Certainly the future of British Archaeology is in DigVentures hands.
A DigVentures study group has also been created on social media for students like myself to have open discussion and gain assistance from others. A fantastic addition and another valuable tool.