April Evans – Work Experience Dwr Y Felin Comprehensive School
In two weeks at the GGAT I have learnt a lot, I didn’t realise that there was so much in archaeology. It’s interesting and enjoyable. I became very interested in archaeology when I saw GGAT excavating next to my school. On the first day of my work experience I was welcomed by everyone that works here, everyone makes you feel comfortable and at ease, they are always willing to help out even when they are very busy. On my first day I was taken down to Neath Abbey Ruins to help Natasha Scullion and Edith Evans clean old tiles ready for the open day. Ffion Reynolds from Cadw and Natasha told me a little about the history of Neath Abbey Ruins, I also found out that Neath is a very good place for archaeology. Throughout the first week I helped Martin Tuck fill in databases, that included information form finds at the Dwr Y Felin site, when doing this I realised that there is a lot of history in Neath. Martin also took time to show me some books about Neath and the Dwr Y Felin site.
Every opportunity of going out and visiting somewhere, they were willing to take me with them. I helped pack stuff up ready for Swansea museum open day and we went down to the museum to set up. On the second week of work experience I went with Edith and Natasha to see Time Team excavating copper works at White Rock, its amazing how much they manage to excavate in 3 days.
I helped Paul Huckfield and Natasha prepare for Swansea museum open day by photocopying and laminating posters. Paul also taught me how to use Adobe Illustrator and I designed the inside of a leaflet with information about the children’s activities that GGAT offer.. In my spare time I had a chance to look at some of the records, to find out the history of where I live, I also looked at some books from the library and saw pictures of Neath Port Talbot from years ago.
Kimberley Dowding showed me some of the finds from different places in South Wales, including a human skull, Roman pottery such as samian ware, amphorae which was used for storage vessels, mortaria used for grinding bowls and medieval pottery such as glazed ware and coarse pottery, and I saw some Roman melon beads that were used as jewellery which are about 1700-2000 years old. Charina Jones the Historic Environment Record Manager showed me what she does everyday using the GIS (Geographical Information System), Charina also showed me how to use the GIS and let me put on the areas of excavation for the Dwr Y Felin site.
Work experience at GGAT has given me a good understanding of the world of work and I have learnt of the importance of key skills, I now have a much clearer idea of what I need to achieve to be able to (hopefully) work here in future.
The atmosphere everybody creates is great. Everyone is kind, helpful, friendly and happy all the time. I have really enjoyed my time here and would love to come back to volunteer and maybe even work here in future.