York is one of the best places to study Archaeology. There’s so much history right on your doorstep and the course itself is nuanced and fun. However, you’ve probably heard all of this before so instead of repeating myself (even though it really is great!) I caught up with three first year Archaeology students in the common room of Kings Manor and asked them what they think is something potential Archaeology students have to look forward to.
The first person I caught up with was Alix:
I think for me the thing I most look forward to when I’m thinking about coming into Archaeology is the lectures and the camaraderie we have in the lectures. Lectures are good and they’re all really interesting and I love everything we’re learning but without having the group of people it just wouldn’t be the same.Alix, 1st Year Archaeology
It’s just the in-jokes and the chatting beforehand and afterwards, going back and discussing the lectures from a month ago and going ‘do you remember that?’.
In the middle of March a few of us are going to Rome, which I’ve never been to before and I’m really really excited because It’s just gonna be so cool. I’ve never really been abroad. It’s just visiting all the stuff that we’ve heard about in lectures is gonna be so much fun it’s so interesting. Especially going to Rome with a load of nerds who really like Rome.
The second person I met up with was another Alex (we have an abundance in our year):
I’m really looking forward to going on an excavation. I’ve only done one so far in my entire life. I really do enjoy the hands-on digging of Archaeology and I’m hoping to undercover new bits of history as cliche as that sounds.
The excavation I did was in Cannock Chase which was my local forest. There was a prisoner of war camp there in the first world war and it wasn’t a proper excavation per se but they got all the prisoners of war to dig an exact replica of all the German trenches that were in the front so they could plan an attack. I think I was maybe 13 or 14 so it probably wasn’t the most representative of archaeological experiences but I hope to do better in the future.
I’m really looking forward to the cleaning of pottery. I’ve done it with the archaeological society here at York they do really nice sessions on Wednesdays of bones and pottery cleaning which is really quite fun especially with the hands-on element of archaeology which I thought I would have to be done in a lab. It’s a nice hands-on session to come in and inform history.Alex, 1st Year Archaeology
Last but not least I asked David what he thought potential students had to look forward to:
I really like working in Kings Manor, Kings manor is a really good place to work. It’s a really nice building with a really nice courtyard.
It’s originally the Abbot’s house for the abbey over there, and then in the dissolution of the monasteries the crown got it. Then they used it as a house for some time. A lot of them didn’t really like it because there was a cesspit nearby so they didn’t spend much time here but it was owned by the crown. It was used for some administrative stuff, then it was a school for the blind for some years before being taken over by the university.
I often sit on the ground floor of the library which is somewhat hidden so it’s a nice quiet place to work.David, 1st Year Archaeology
So there you go, you don’t just have to take my word for it. There’s so many amazing things that you have the opportunity to enjoy as an Archaeology student at the University of York and my colleagues here have barely scratched the surface.
Thank you to everyone who took part in the videos.
~Amy (not an Alex but pretty close).