From left to right: Alan West, Danielle Lefeuvre, Emma Reeve, Natasha Harlow, and Elizabeth Stewart
So here we are: The team behind the latest work on the Spong Hill pots from the Anglo Saxon cemetery site in North Elmham. But what you don’t know is who we are, and why we get ourselves filthy every week, repackaging, relabeling and recataloguing the pots. We each have a different story, and a reason for joining the Spong Hill Project. So get ready to meet the team…
Well first of all a team wouldn’t be a team without a leader. In this case our leader is Alan West – Curator of Archaeology. Alan is based at Shirehall within Norwich Castle Museum. It is Alan who makes sure that all the tools and equipment that are needed for this project are available. This includes lots of bubble wrap and plenty of acid free tissue paper to help preserve the pots. It also includes a large amount of plastic bags lined with jiffy foam to help store the fragments of each burial urn.
Finally of course, there needed to be a team of helpers to carry out this process of repackaging the pots, and it is Alan who put the rest of the team (AKA the minions!) together…
First up is Natasha Harlow, who is currently undertaking a PhD in Archaeology at the University of Nottingham, entitled ‘Portable Artefacts and Identity in the Civitas of the Iceni’. Nat has been a freelance archaeologist since 2012, mainly for NMS but also for Caistor Roman Project and Norfolk and Norwich Heritage Trust, working on archaeological archives, educational activities and occasional oral histories! She expresses that she likes “old stuff”, mainly from the Iron Age and Roman Britain, particularly in the East of England.
Next is Emma Reeve, who holds a degree in Visual Studies from the University of the Arts (in Norwich), and who is starting an MA in Museum Studies this September at the University of East Anglia. Emma worked at Shirehall between January 2013-January 2014, as a Museum Trainee in Archaeology. When Emma is not working on the Spong Hill pots, she is working at an art gallery in Wroxham. Emma has also coordinated exhibitions at the Playhouse in Norwich, and holds a passion for Performance Art.
The youngest of the team, Elizabeth Stewart, is currently studying a part time MA in Landscape History at the University of East Anglia, and within this has been a Peer Mentor since last September, working with A-Level students and helping them to gain more employable skills. She has also been volunteering in the Archaeology department at Norwich Castle Museum for two years now. In addition, Lizzie is involved in the Caistor Roman project, where she has participated in field walking, and is also set to go to Sedgeford at the end of this July for two weeks of excavation training.
Finally, we come to my good self, Danielle Lefeuvre. I hold a degree in Ancient History and Archaeology from the University of Leicester, and have been volunteering in the Archaeology Department at Shirehall for three years now. I too, am involved with the Caistor Roman project, where I have participated in field walking and two years of excavation. I also helped to excavate a Prehistoric settlement at Pietraperzia in Sicily last summer, as well as participating in a series of conservation work at Great Yarmouth Minster, working to restore some of the tombstones. When I am not volunteering or working on the Spong Hill project, I work with Emma at the art gallery in Wroxham. I also do Sunday Duty Managing at Dragon Hall.
Working as part of the Spong Hill team, has been incredibly exciting. It has been a pleasure for all of us to work with archaeological artefacts, and help to preserve material evidence of the past. Although, as you can see, we have all joined the Spong Hill team in different ways, the things that we have in common are very important. Namely, a sincere passion for preserving archaeological objects for future generations. We are also all very fond of cake and coffee, and are quite partial to a bit of heavy metal to help us on our way every Tuesday!