Work Experience Report

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or my work experience I went to the Archaeological Resource Centre (or ARC for short) in York. It is a museum owned by the York Archaeological Trust, who also owns the Jorvik Centre. It is not an ordinary museum, but one especially for school trips. Special demonstrations are given to the children and they get to handle real artefacts from many years ago. The building is a converted church. To get there, I had to get an early bus at 7:00am. I arrived at 8:15am, but didn’t need to get to the ARC till 9:15am. On the first day I had some trouble getting in, because I couldn’t find the front door.

After walking around the site for 5 minutes I finally realised that the big wooden main gate at the front was in fact the door, so I rang the bell. Once inside I was escorted into the staff room, which is a small room hidden in a far corner on the top floor. There were 8 other work experience students in there already, who had obviously worked out how to get in. I was given a twenty-page booklet and was told to read it. It was the health and safety guide for the building. There was a very funny article in it, which told you what to do incase of terrorist attacks, which I did not think I would need to learn.

After I had read the health and safety guide, and finished introducing myself, I was given my sweatshirt and taken downstairs into the main hall. We were then given a talk about what to do and say, and how to handle the children. All of the volunteers had to assist the demonstrating archaeologist in their display, and help the children understand what they were doing. It wasn’t what I expected. I expected to do more activities like cataloguing and the stereotypical archaeologists chores. In the main hall there were 3 large semi-circle shaped tables. On the first one were 20 trays of animal bones.

On the second was 20 trays of soil samples, which had bits of bone, grain and excrement, and on the third table was several boxes with artefacts in, and pieces of paper and pencil tins for the children to draw their artefacts with. This was my favourite table, because it was easier, and I could tell the children what it was that they were handling. Not long after being told what to do the first group came, but luckily I wasn’t assigned to them. Instead I had to run down to a furniture store and buy a table for the coffee machine because the old table that the coffee machine was on, had a technical error.

My first group was at 11:00am, and I was very nervous. The first activity we were meant to do was once the door bell rang, bring the children and teachers in and get them to put their bags into a large basket, then we had to wheel the basket to the exit, ready for collection at the end. Once that was done, we had to go back and sort the children into two groups, then give them a sticker. They then moved onto the first room and were given a long talk about archaeology by the demonstrating archaeologist.

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