(guest post by Emily Schaljo)
As I write my final blog post, only one day remains before my return to Canada. The 2014 season at Burgaz has come to a close, the clean-up process is underway, and my suitcase will double as my closet for only a couple more days. When I first decided to join the Burgaz team, I was excited about all of the things I could learn about archaeology, and the experience I could gain in my desired field of work. As an undergraduate entering my fourth and final year at Brock, the chance to gain work experience related to my future career path is high on my priority list.
While working on the Burgaz project I gained many new skills and learned about archaeological practices in and out of the field, but what I had not anticipated was how much I would learn about myself. When I was first preparing for the excavations at Burgaz, I joined an open water diving course at my local dive shop. I had always found diving interesting, but thought it was out of my reach and something that I would never try. As it turns out, I enjoy the sport a lot and am looking forward to improving my diving skills this fall.
Near the end of our work in L1, trenches A and B were deep enough for excavation by scuba. With zero visibility, a pick in one hand and the working end of a dredge in the other, I had fun experimenting with the most convenient ways to handle the equipment and get the work done. I have learned that I truly enjoy problem solving, multi-tasking, and being challenged.
I have also learned more about my particular archaeological interests. Tasked with registration of the L1 finds, I gained hands-on experience with ceramics. I enjoyed working with the ceramic material, but was especially excited about finding teeth and bones. The quantification process intrigued me for its potential to shed light on how particular areas of the site were used in different ways at different times. I hope to have future opportunities to study excavation results in the field and the lab.
I have had an amazing experience at Burgaz – I met wonderful people, made connections and friends, and I learned about my field of study and myself. I look forward to taking everything that I have learned here back home, continuing my studies, and progressing to whatever the future holds for me.