“Heritage is not just about sticks and stones. It’s about things making sense to people, part of the accumulated culture of their communities.” – John Yates
I will be updating my blog at least once a fortnight unless inspiration strikes in which case I may end up posting once a day! I will be posting about heritage, archaeology, media and projects based in the Brecon Beacons National Park as well as sharing thoughts on exciting events and news stories.
I hope you enjoy reading this and please feel free to comment on any posts here. If I do get any information particularly wrong or if you hear of any relevant news regarding heritage or archaeology please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How I got here;
Wednesday 5th September rolls in and I wake up with a feeling of slight anxiousness; today is my interview for an amazing IfA (Institute for Archaeologists) funded workplace learning bursary placement in Integrated Heritage Management which is to be hosted by the Brecon Beacons National Park and was made possible by the HLF. A mixture of nerves and caffeine get me to the reception desk at the National Park headquarters in Brecon and by half past nine I am fretting about my shoelaces – what if one comes undone and I trip over?
But I don’t have much time to worry about that before I am asked to accompany one of the interview panel to the interview room. The interview happened, that I know, however my main memory of it was my severe overuse of the word ‘various’. After various questions and various answers I left HQ relieved that I had made it through without saying anything particularly stupid and annoyed at my ridiculous abundance of nerves.
Two days later I got the good news; I was being offered the placement and, dependent on satisfactory references, I was to start work in early October.
So, I suppose I should introduce myself and say a little about the journey I took to get here. I am HollyMae Steane Price and I am a Trainee Heritage Officer at the Brecon Beacons National Park and I have been employed as such since October 1st 2012…
I’m not going to say that my passion for the past developed through watching TV, but I cannot deny that some of my early knowledge of the subject came from the media offerings of the early 90s (though I’m not sure about the ‘pyramids being landing pads for alien spaceships’ part…). Further to this, family trips to different sites of historical and archaeological significance continued to fuel my interest in all things ancient and by the time I was 13 I was considering pursuing a career in archaeology.
So it came to no surprise that I ended up doing a secondary school work experience placement at the local archaeological trust! The site visits and work with the public at National Archaeology Day gave me an insight into the varied and often muddy working life of an archaeologist and by the end of my week’s work experience I had well and truly caught the archaeology bug. From then until I embarked on the ‘university journey’ I volunteered at various excavations run by Dyfed Archaeological Trust in south west Wales.
The next step down the ladder of the past took me to Cardiff University and during my time studying a BSc in Archaeology I had the opportunity to excavate at some fantastic sites such as Nevern Castle and Caerleon. After completion of my degree I worked on three more excavations which bumped my total excavation experience up to 32 weeks and my continued participation in a Cardiff based archaeology/arts/science group called Guerilla Archaeology gives me the chance to teach the public about various aspects of the past!
This placement at the Brecon Beacons National Park is designed to “provide training and learning opportunities in how to manage heritage assets, including historic buildings and archaeological remains, within a protected landscape”. During my time here at the park I will learn, amongst other things, “how to manage the historic environment in a sustainable, integrated and multidisciplinary manner” and to “assist in the development of the Brecon Beacons National Parks Authority’s Historic Environment Strategy”.
Add to this my personal learning goals which involve investigating Archaeology and heritage exposure in both social and public media offerings and the development of applications for mobile phones and other devices which can provide a platform for learning about the past. Hopefully I will be posting many discussions covering digital heritage, archaeology in the media along with ideas regarding the dissemination of information through the utilisation of social media.
At this point I shall stop stealing sentences from my job description document and will wish you all a happy read. I’ll try not to make any blundering mistakes and I take this opportunity to say that all photos on this blog, unless otherwise stated, are taken by me!
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