Q&A with site supervisor Tony Roberts

(Tetbury – Archeoscan)

What qualities do you look for in a digger?

I believe the best quality is enthusiasm closely followed by a willingness to learn. An interest in history/archaeology is an advantage as is an inquisitive mind. A sense of humour may come in handy for those days when it is wet and windy on site but these are balanced by the days out in the glorious warm weather of the summer.

What items of equipment would you say are essential for a novice to bring along themselves?

At our dig we provide teas, coffee and the occasional cream cake! Personalised kneelers are a good thing for those hours on your knees and a warm woolly hat for the windy days or wide brimmed one for the warm days. A camera for recording your experiences is usually handy. A large bag for all your kit and a waterproof sheet to put it (and yourself) on is also handy.

What things should a novice digger say to the site supervisor when first arriving at the dig?

What  you would like to derive from a dig and an honest appraisal of experience. No one knows it all and everyone on site is willing to help and show people the ropes, particularly newcomers. Oh, and that you have brought lots of bacon sandwiches!!

What things shouldn’t a novice digger say to the site supervisor when first arriving at the dig?

That it will all be done my way and I know it all from last week’s episode of ‘Time Team’. (And I have not brought any bacon sandwiches!!).

And finally: what has been your weirdest/most intriguing/favourite find?

On our current site it seems to be the novice trowelling next to me that makes the exciting find, like the recent polished stone axe, or the perfect flint arrowhead or the large number of roman coins. But each one is equally exciting  for the finder.