Did someone call a Doctor?March 12, 2012 Archaeology, Archaeology in Action, LAARC, LAARC VIP, Volunteer Profile, Volunteers
Well hello again dear readers of this Museum of London Blog. For those who have never met me before my name is Dr W and I usually help out the osteologists at the museum’s Centre for Human Bioarchaeology. Recently however, I’ve been volunteering on Tuesdays in Archaeology in Action.
We’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Museum of London’s Archaeological Archive and on Tuesdays I get to work with two of the most fantastic people you’ll get to meet at the museum – my dear fellow volunteers Chris & Andy. All three of us first worked together back in 2010 on the archive’s first Visitor Inclusion Project and you can read our volunteer profiles by clicking on their names in the previous sentence, and mine by clicking on my name here: Dr W
My volunteer day starts a little before the museum opens. At around 9.30 I work my way up to the foyer with the carefully packed boxes of human remains from 1975’s excavations at Newgate Street. Chris and Andy usually arrive just before 10am and to be honest I leave it up to them to set things up. After all, these guys know their stuff – did you know that both volunteers have previously been nominated in the the London Volunteers in Museums awards, Andy was highly commended in 2009 and Chris was a runner up in 2011.
They set up the amazing artefacts we have on display, such as one of Andy’s favourites, the arthritic hip joint, or my personal favourite, the skull fragment with a sword wound. To think what these poor people must have gone through whilst they were alive. It’s amazing to think that way beyond their deaths they are helping to share knowledge about life in their London with people of the 21st Century. Brilliant.
We also have some incredible images on display such as the the layout of the burials from the site and the poor lady who died in childbirth. Some of these people’s stories are so very sad but at the same time fascinating insights into 11th & 12th Century London life. You can read more about these skeletons here: Skeleton Blog
I love this period of history, as does Chris. Andy’s still very much prefers the lower galleries with their more recent events, though we’re trying to persuade her otherwise. In fact despite being such a great team the two of them rarely agree on things; I was having the usual debate of “Mortimer Wheeler or Indiana Jones” and Chris always sides with Morti whilst Andy always gets behind Indy. (I have to say I tend to favour dear Mortimer myself - I do like a good moustache…)
However, there’s one thing we all agree on – of the three of us, I’m definately the most photogenic. It seems like visitors just love having their photo taken with me. And I love having my photo taken, so it’s win win!
Right then, better sign off, but just to say, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my volunteer experience so far, working with the marvelous Andy & Chris, and it’s been a pleasure meeting so many of you fabulous visitors. If you get the time, you can still come and meet me tomorrow, Tuesday 13th March and one last time next Tuesday, 20th. Toodle-pip!