Shipwrecks and Skeletons-14th July


Yesterday had left everyone with dampened spirits, also reflected in the weather. Today however, dawned bright and sunny and was great start to National Archaeology Week (NAW).  Settling in today was good given the rain had stopped but we still have quite a lot to work out. It was a bit chaotic with the new routine, we were off to St. Agnes the last of the islands Sally and I hadn’t seen.

 Neither Sally nor I had done any geophysics before but were intrigued. We quickly realised that we were horrendous at the necessary skills despite how much effort we put in. It was a damn good test of  Tim’s (geoarchaeologist and site manager) patience, it took a lot of explaining for our mistakes to be sorted. We realised he’s very good at taking deep breaths when dealing with clueless students.

Helen and Sally geophysing

Should our results be readable, our aim is to hopefully prove the local legend, that some 1400 bodies  from the shipwrecks of the HMS Association and three other ships were buried on St. Agnes’ cricket pitch. With it being NAW, it was really good to be able to talk to both tourists and locals and hear the legend. However, as with all legends, the facts seem to change depending upon who we spoke to, but we really enjoyed  trying to piece it together. 

 We spent the morning setting up all the points and tapes. When we finally got started it took us a good few hours to realise that we were doing it wrong and had to start again! Despite this major technicality we finally got the hang of it and sped ahead with our work. We also discovered that when you sing the readings that need to be recorded it keeps everyone smiling. 

 Spaghetti bolognaise for dinner was awesome despite the puddle of water on the plate from the pasta. (Kim’s serving skills!) Tim is currently uploading our data and we’ve been speculating all day about what we could find. We’ll let you know. We‘ve also realised that within archaeology people have their strengths in certain places but we still had a great day, a challenge is good for anyone! 

By Sally and Amy


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