Kildavie 2018

Post date: Aug 28, 2018 5:24:20 PM

We have just finished our fifth season of excavations at Kildavie and Emily, one of our participants, has written a short blog about her time with us, check it out below! Thanks, Emily and hope to see you again!

Archaeology has always been an interest of mine but never accessible to me through study or practice. In order to feed my curiosity I had become a bit of a documentary connoisseur. However, watching a documentary is nothing like getting your hands dirty.

I am an anthropology student in New York, New York (USA). When my department forwarded me the HARP archaeological dig opportunity I immediately applied! I assumed that Scotland would be the perfect place to dig as it is not too hot and is beautiful. My assumptions proved to be correct. Scotland has proven the ideal place for my first dig as it is gorgeous and challenging. While it does not get too hot here the weather can be unpredictable with the rain. Yet the rain does not prevent progress in excavation, it promotes creativity in staying dry.

My favorite part of my HARP experience has been the people I have met. While I may not be an archaeology student many of the other students here are, but this does not stop the supervisors from answering any questions I may have. It is an environment where I am encouraged to push my understanding of the world and ask others for help. The other students come from all walks of life and, being an anthropology student, I am especially interested to learn about their lives, which they are happy to share. This has led to friendships I could not have imagined and teamwork that improves due to our understanding of each other. My favorite part of my time here has been one rainy day where another student and I were taking elevation drawings of a wall. It was cold and wet and I had decided to lie on the ground to get more accurate numbers. My partner sketched the wall and held an umbrella trying as best she could to keep me slightly dry. It was a bit of a waste of time but was incredibly funny, especially trying to clean myself up afterward.

The amount of information I have learned about the people of Scotland has also excited me. It is fun to use anthropological data and guess at a previous way of life. And when we are thinking as a team while filling out context sheets and making predictions, we are able to come up with conclusions I would never had imagined by myself, yet make perfect sense. To me it is the perfect use of different backgrounds working together to think critically and creatively.

As my time here on Mull comes to an end I am grateful to the people who have made my experience in archaeology so amazing. I will miss being with my team and singing the entirety of Bohemian Rhapsody as we remove tumble from our structure, and I will miss trivia nights where the only questions I know are about the periodic table as the trivia is Scottish based. I am excited to go home and share my experience and what I have learned. And, hopefully, I will have the opportunity to dig again with HARP next year.

Thank you HARP and all of the fantastic dig supervisors for making my experience one of a kind!

Emily Bates

Fordham University

Class of 2020