The Best Parts of Archaeology
My name is Jennifer Williams. I am a 3rd year student at Lynchburg College. I study Chemistry and minor in creative writing and of course work as a Lab Tech at Historic Sandusky. I love my job. Yes, at times it can be a lot of work but there has yet to be a day that goes by that I do not learn something new. That’s the best part. From learning to identify 100-year-old nails to data entry for thousands of artifacts, it really does not get boring, even when I am alone. You know, if I am alone. What is amazingly ironic about working as an Archaeological Lab Tech in the actual house of Sandusky is I am surrounded by history. Every day is different, even if I am labeling and writing the same thing a thousand times. It’s a good thing they do allow playing music in the lab. I see different artifacts, learn different stories and get to see life differently as well.
My least favorite part of the job is washing the artifacts because my hands get all pruney. My favorite part of the job is washing the artifacts, because I am then the first person in the lab to see the artifacts and get a feel for what is to come. I love opening the first bag in the project. The first context bag sets the tone of what may follow. Here I am touching history, washing it, giving it its first voice to telling the story from the period it came from.
This is the most rewarding job I have ever had. From the actually work and artifact knowledge to the amazing people I work alongside off, I love it all.
Thoughts of an Archaeology Lab Technician
Do not get the B72 on my fingers when mending pieces, it acts like super glue. With a little acetone and a lot of work, everything will be okay though. In a way, acetone is like duck tap, it really does fix just about anything. Oh crap, there’s a tour coming through, need to turn Drake down or off. Yeah probably off would be best. Uhh what is this? Is it washable? Probably not. That’s a rock, right? I am pretty sure it’s a rock. MR. ADAMS!!! There is something creaking in the other room and I am suppose to be alone labeling and bagging artifacts. Definitely am not going to go look. But then again how cool would it be to see a ghost? Darn it, have to rewrite this whole label because instead of putting Layer B, I put Layer A. Oh cool, this piece of ceramics looks awesome! What could it have been a piece of? I hope I find more pieces that fit together and then I can use B72 to put it together. Do not get the B72 on my fingers when mending pieces, it acts like super glue.
About the author: Jennifer Williams is a junior chemistry major at Lynchburg College with a minor in creative writing. Jennifer began her work in the archaeology lab in the fall semester of her sophomore year and will continue at the archaeology lab until she graduates. Because of her experience in chemistry, Jennifer is an asset to the lab and will be able to help with conservation projects during the fall of 2017.