Here at Ribchester Revisited, we love people from all walks of life to truly experience coming here what it is like to be an archaeologist at its core. Whether it is students from UCLan (University of Central Lancashire), ANU (Australian National University), or volunteers from the United States through the Institute of Field Research, Ribchester Revisited has been fortunate enough to have all these fantastic people contributing to our project with their own unique skills and personalities.
But it’s not only grown men & women and young adults we aim to bring here, as this project has a strong history of hosting pre-university age student who gain invaluable experience and memories by taking part in an archaeological project with others with similar ages and interests. This includes the Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC), an organisation which seeks to get children with a passion for archaeology involved in projects and events that can fan the flame of their interest in archaeology. Former Young Archaeologist, Cassie Bradshaw, was the fortunate winner of a YAC competition in 2015 that enabled her to go to Ribchester for the day in order to take part in what we do here. Cassie so greatly enjoyed her time here that she entered the competition again next year and won again!
Now, in 2017, she’s back as a participant of UCLan’s Muddy Starter program. This initiative brings 16-17 year olds planning to study Archaeology to Ribchester not only to show them what UCLan has to offer, but to help them gain valuable experience and a unique insight into their interests, as a result building to a whole new generation of archaeologists! Cassie has enjoyed her time so much that she’s asked to stay for an extra week, and spent the whole of yesterday spending time with this year’s YAC competition winners to pass on her knowledge and enthusiasm. So, for this blog we interviewed Cassie to ask her about herself and her time here:
Q: Tell us about yourself
A: My name is Cassie Bradshaw. I’m 17 and I’m a student at Formby High Sixth Form. I’m studying Ancient History, Chemistry, Geography.
Q: Why are you here?
A: I’m here because I have always had a great interest in archaeology and history since I was 5. This is how I was able to win the Young Archaeologist competition in 2015, when I first came to Ribchester. I enjoyed it so much, I’m here now as a Muddy Starter to take part in the archaeological process and to improve my skills in the field.
Q: How are you enjoying Ribchester Revisited?
A: I think it’s an amazing experience for anyone interested in archaeology or the Romans. Since being here I’ve learned a number of techniques and skills that are vital for archaeologists, such as planning, coordination with others, and paying attention to important details within tasks. I’ve also greatly enjoyed the social experience here at Ribchester Revisited, as I’ve met so many amazing people with similar interests as me.
Q: Do you think being here is beneficial to your future career prospects?
A: Absolutely. Because it gives me a massive insight into how studying archaeology at university is also about fieldwork, not just lectures. Not every university provides its students with an opportunity to take part in fieldwork that will be incredibly important for any future career in archaeology. This is why I’ve chosen University of Central Lancashire as my first choice for university.
Q: To conclude, what would you say to other young people who are interested in archaeology or in taking part in Ribchester Revisited?
A: I would say to go for it. It’s such a fantastic opportunity for people like us as it gives a massive amount of insight and experience into the archaeological process not just through fieldwork, but also through the social side and meeting other students. All three times, I was nervous before coming here but every time I was easily able to get along with others who shared my passion for everything that was happening here.
Cassie used her experience as a Young Archaeologist to help the newest generation of YAC members to become capable members of our trench. We can only hope they’ll follow in Cassie’s footsteps and be with us again very soon!
For further details about UCLan Archaeology, see https://www.uclan.ac.uk/courses/bsc_hons_archaeology.php
Every year we are looking for people to dig with us (sadly this year we’re already fully booked!). However, look out for details next year on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ribchesterrevisited