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Zooarchaeology Laboratory
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I wish to become a zooarchaeologist, the more experience you have the better the chances are for future employment.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Department email

Application process

I applied online with a CV & covering letter

Main responsibilities

I was responsible for improving the existing zooarchaeology teaching collection.

Typical day

There was no typical day, the one constant was that I worked with animal bones. The initial task involved sorting through boxes of unwanted faunal material to find specimens suitable to be used in the teaching collection. Once this was completed I started improving the layout of the existing collection, added a new sheep skull to mammal skulls and created an index for them. I also created teaching tools for tooth identification and ageing.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

The placement was excellent it allowed me to improve the facilities that I use on the course I was taking. I really enjoy working with animal bones and there's always something new to learn. One skull I found was very unusual; it belonged to a small mammal & it had me stumped for some time. I started asking other people in the department if they knew what it was & no-one knew. Eventually Ben & Ruth who were on the same course as me identified it as a blind mole rat, a very unusual animal for Britain. Finding a goat skeleton which could be added to the teaching collection was great as this will enable comparisons between the two species possible. Overall it really felt like I was making a difference.

Challenging aspects

Although I was already familiar with mammal skeletons, I was less familiar with the skeleton of birds. This proved to be a good opportunity to understand the different elements of the different species of birds.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

How to identify animal bones and taphanomic processes such as cut marks and burning was taught on the course & was used.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

It has enhanced my desire to become a zooarchaeologist

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

If you get the opportunity to undertake an OnCampus placement do it.

Other comments

Excellent opportunity & it is a really good way to get practical experiance for a job you wish to undertake. I always said that I will be able to call myself an archaeologist once someone has paid me in this line of work & now I can.

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Form completed: 05 Jul 2018

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