Earlier this month I was lucky enough to get the chance to volunteer on a commercial archaeology site in Malta. I am so pleased that I got the chance to experience what it is like to work on a commercial archaeology site, especially abroad in another country.
The site is soon going to be developed into new houses however, as the site was once used during the Roman period for growing grapes for wine everything must be recorded before the development begins. During my volunteering hours I was asked to fill in SU/context sheets for a number of vine trenches on site, which involved measuring, drawing and describing the features.
The first thing I was surprised about when I first got to the site was the size of the site. All in all the site is made up of 4 plots and each plot had over 300 vine trenches. It is the biggest excavated archaeological site I have ever been on and was overwhelmed by its size. Likewise the depth of the site was also surprising as unlike other excavated sites I have been on in Britain this site was at least twice the depth from ground level. Lastly the team of archaeologists working on the site was made up of one archaeologist and a handful of skilled labourers. However, on such a small island like Malta qualified archaeologists are few and far between and for this reason they take on archaeology students, like myself, to help carry out task such as filling out SU and context sheets so that they can complete the needed work on time.
I very much enjoy my time volunteering on a commercial archaeology site in Malta as it showed me a different side to field archaeology that I have not seen before. I would take up the chance to work on a commercial archaeology site again as I love the hands on aspect of archaeology, especially being in the field.