July 9, 2013
Leicester Interns Unearth Medieval Artifacts At Richard III Dig Site
Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Just a few days into a month-long excavation of Grey Friars church in Leicester, where University of Leicester researchers uncovered the grave of King Richard III last September, university interns have already found some interesting artifacts.
Year 12 intern Emma Link and archaeology undergraduate Claire Calver have just begun work at the dig site and have already unearthed some medieval remains. As part of their work at the site, the duo will learn the ropes of archaeological excavation.
The dig is focusing on a 55x82-foot section of a Leicester car park and should unveil the whole northeast section of the Grey Friars church -- including the choir area and the walking place around the main tower.
While removing the top layers of earth at the site, the interns have discovered remnants of medieval pottery.
"The dig has been fantastic so far -- everyone is really supportive and we found quite a lot of things already. We have found lots of bits of medieval pottery tiles," explained Link, who is an AS Level student at Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College (WQEIC) in Leicester.
"This is my first time doing any archaeology, and it is something I have always wanted to do. I am hoping to do archaeology or history at university when I finish my A-Levels," added Link.
Link, 16, secured the internship after her history teacher spotted the opening and encouraged her to apply. A resident of Humberstone, Link said, "This is a brilliant chance to get work experience in this field. I now know for certain this is what I want to do."
Calver, 37, is taking a part-time distance learning BA in Archaeology at Leicester's School of Archaeology and Ancient History. Calver, who lives in Heanor, Derbyshire, became interested in archaeology when she worked for a Time Team dig in Newmarket in 2011. She secured a spot in the new dig by winning a competition for Time Team fan club members.
"I am really excited to be working on the dig. I couldn't quite believe I have got the opportunity to work at Grey Friars, where Richard III was discovered," said Calver.
"It will be great to be working with the University's dig team. Meeting Richard Buckley and Mathew Morris is like meeting Tony Robinson, Phil Harding and Mick Aston -- these are famous people, and they are going to be in the history books in the future," she added.
Calver said she is hoping the experience in the field will teach her about the tricks and techniques of recording finds during the month-long dig. "It is one thing to read about all the fantastic archaeological discoveries that have been made, but to really experience archaeology you have to get out there yourself."
Link and Calver will be given full training and mentoring by expert archaeologists during the excavation, which hopes to uncover burial sites for several prominent medieval figures, including several Grey Friars who were beheaded and believed to be buried at the site in 1402.
For their month's work at the dig site, the interns will each receive about $1,500 US.