I’m one of the site assistants for this year’s digging season at Cronk Guckley. I have visited the Isle of Man once before in 2012 as part of a field trip when I was studying for my master’s degree at Heidelberg University. I remember the island as a very astonishing place (we also had pretty good weather for the three days in September we visisted) and was fascinated by the archaeology that you can find literally everywhere.
Originally from Germany I moved to Newcastle in 2014 to start my PhD with Dr Chris Fowler and Prof Sam Turner as my supervisors. My research focuses on Early Neolithic mortuary practices in the British Isles and contemporary and related sites from the ‘Funnel Beaker Culture’ in Denmark and Northern Germany. Basically, I am looking at the non-megalithic structures that are found underneath long and round barrows. By doing that I try to figure out what these structures and the people that have been buried in them can tell us about social organisation of the people of this period. Mortuary archaeology has already been an interest of mine since I started studying archaeology. During my placements with the National Trust of Scotland in 2012 and 2013, I surveyed several round barrows in the Montrose Basin area, which played a major role in my master’s dissertation and which eventually lead to the idea of my current PhD project.
On the excavation I will be on site to support the students and volunteers and will be responsible for the grid and operating the total station for measuring features and finds. I will help the students to learn the techniques and skills that are needed on an excavation and hopefully we will find some exciting archaeology. I’m looking forward to two stimulating weeks of digging on a beautiful island and will hopefully see you there.