Interns describe 'fantastic' first week at Richard III dig site

Jul 09, 2013
University of Leicester undergraduate intern, Claire Calver. Credit: University of Leicester

Interns working at the University of Leicester's new dig at the site of Richard III's grave have already helped uncover medieval remains.

Year 12 pupil Emma Link and archaeology undergraduate Claire Calver have begun working at the university's new dig at the Grey Friars church in Leicester – where Richard III's remains were discovered in September.

The pair will learn archaeological techniques and tricks from the dig team as part of their paid posts at the four-week dig at Leicester's Grey Friars.

The latest dig aims to unearth the whole north east end of the church – including the choir area and the walking place around the main tower of the building.

The interns have already discovered medieval pottery remnants while removing ground layers at the Grey Friars car park and adjacent of the former Alderman Newton School.

Emma Link is an AS Level student at Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth I College in Leicester.

The 16-year-old is currently studying ancient , French, English and psychology – and hopes to study archaeology or history at university when she finishes college.

Emma secured the internship after her history teacher spotted the opportunity and encouraged her to apply for it.

Emma, from Humberstone, Leicester, said: "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.

"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.

"This is a brilliant chance to get work experience in this field. I now know for certain this is what I want to do."

Claire Calver, 37, is taking a part-time distance learning BA in Archaeology at the University's School of Archaeology and Ancient History.

Claire, who lives in Heanor, Derbyshire, is a mother of five and does voluntary work at The Workhouse, in Southwell, Nottinghamshire – a National Trust-owned 19th century workhouse.

As a BA History graduate, Claire became more interested in archaeology when she took part in a Time Team dig at Newmarket in 2011.

She was able to take part in the dig with the team after winning a competition for Time Team fan club members.

Claire said: "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.

"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.

"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. I'm hoping to learn more about the techniques of recording finds during the dig.

"I decided to go for the BA in as it complements my history degree – and Leicester offered the best distance learning course."

The will be given full training and mentoring by the archaeologists throughout the dig, and will receive a £1000 bursary for the month.

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