Through out the past six weeks there have been many moments, some good, some bad and some that cannot be forgotten. All of us will carry the memories of this trip with us forever and we thought that we would share some of our favourite moments with you all.
Amanda: One of the most memorable weekends of my life was our trip to Scotland. Aside from the staggeringly beautiful architecture, Edinburgh seemed to be this wonderful, whimsical place, with a local story or legend on every street (usually on the grislier side). Edinburgh is truly a city for romantics, as our very charming tour guide demonstrated with his spirited rendition of some Robert Burns as we traipsed through the old part of town. Suffice to say I have fallen in love with the culture, the food (haggis is pretty incredible), and most of all the people. On one of our evenings, we stumbled upon a show featuring two heavily costumed guys doing heavy metal acoustic covers of some classic rock songs. They were quite talented, and the end result was simultaneously the most epic and hilarious things I have experienced.
Dan: I have never really been in contention with nature before but I now understand it. We share the North Field with cows (and sheep!) and there is one cow in particular that seems to take issue with us (especially Sarah). This one cow decided to walk onto the spoil heap, walk onto our ramp and then it just looked at us, and we knew. It then proceeded to poop all over the ramp while we just watched, shocked! I guess we now know just how the cows feel about us excavating in the North Field.
Mary: While this memory is not exactly a favourite, it is a (somewhat) funny one. Our reaction to the whole event was more funny than anything else. While driving back from the Twice Brewed Inn after lunch one day with Beth a pheasant decided to cross in front of us! Beth, put the safety of the students first and did not try to stop for it. There was a collective scream and cringe and the entirety of the car was in a shocked state that lasted until we got to the site. The entire car was stunned into silence before what happened fully sank in.
Ps. We believe that the pheasant is currently alive and well.
Meagan: While my favourite moment is not exactly a good one, to me it was extremely funny (to most of our car as well). While driving to Southshields we got lost. Alex’s car was leading the way (he had the GPS), and he turned the wrong way! Twice! After we got back on track the first time Beth swore that she would not follow Alex if he turned the wrong way again. The second time we took the wrong turn Beth’s car realized Alex was turning the wrong way and we attempted to get him to turn the right way. It did not work. And Beth decided that she should follow Alex instead of making the right turn. Let’s just say the expressions on our faces when we realized we were turning the wrong way again were very amusing as was the ensuing conversation about the car with the GPS getting us lost.
Nikki: It’s so hard to chose a favourite moment from the trip. All of them seem to revolve around the awesome people I’ve met, including the team of international people we worked with on site. This program was supposed to be about learning. We were meant to grow as archaeologists, historians, academics, and as ambassadors for Western. Essentially we were supposed to grow as people and I feel like making friends on site helped us do just that. We came to learn about other people’s lives and experiences, regardless of race or nation. We discovered that whether you come from a small town or a large city, or whether you are from the Eastern or Western hemisphere, something can be said for bonding. When you are up to your elbows in dirt and your dead on your feet, the ability to talk to other people and share a common experience is a powerful thing. Being able to do just that, really get to know people and form these friendships, that is the best part of the trip and one of the memories I will always treasure.
Rob: My favourite moment was running alongside Hadrian’s Wall for the first time on our first official hike. It had not hit me before that I was actually in England. It is amazing to think that the Wall has been standing (more or less) for 2000 years. It was an awesome experience!
Robin: I really enjoyed our relaxing excursion to Beckfoot to meet with Graham. we walked along the beach at Solway Firth and he showed the remains of a petrified forest in the Firth that could be seen when the tide was out. He also showed us the Roman grave yard that is slowly eroding into the Firth. The scenery was magnificent, the atmosphere lovely and the company unparalleled.
Rohana: One of my favourite moments was our trip to the Lake District. The scenery was absolutely stunning. Our Mountain Goat driver, Derek, was especially informative about the landscape in the Lake District. I enjoyed the bumpy rides up the mountains, the pub lunch (and desserts!), our walk through Ravenglass and our stop at the Roman fort at Hardknott.
Sarah: My favourite moment was being able to say hi to all of the friends I made last year during the excavation. It was great to see everyone again and to reconnect. It is like I never left in the first place!
Stephanie: My favourite moment was the whole six weeks. But if I had to pick only one I would choose when I was digging in the drain in Andy’s trench with Helen as my partner. We found amazing things that day. I will forever remember the excitement of excavating my first Roman leather shoe. It was a large marching boot. Feeling that the leather was still supple after nearly 2000 years was quite amazing.