Welcome to the Urban Archaeology blog. Freelance archaeologist Chiz Harward provides a range of on and offsite services to the archaeological profession, including running and working on excavations, post-excavation services, training and development work, and illustration work. This weblog will carry news of projects as and when they happen as well as wider thoughts on archaeological issues, especially recording, stratigraphy and training.



The finding of a fort: the post-Boudican reconstruction fort at Plantation Place, London





MOLA have just published the Roman monograph on their major urban excavations at Plantation Place, City of London. I worked on the main excavation in 2000, when there were around 70 archaeologists working on site, and over the next three years with smaller teams excavating pile positions, sewer shafts and monitoring groundworks and piling. At the end of it all, after several years of excavation, assessment and analysis, I ended up writing the chapter on the post-Boudican reconstruction fort, a 'find' that still ranks as the best I have ever made.
An early Roman fort and urban development on Londinium's eastern hill (c)MOLA
The MOLA monograph, copyright MOLA

Through the lookinge glasse...Ivor Noel Hume and chamber pots

For those of us interested in chamber pots, there is a fascinating and wonderfully illustrated article in Ceramics in America by Ivor Noel Hume. It is from 2003 but since the ceramics in question are several centuries old, that hardly matters...
Ivor Noel Hume started his archaeological career in London, before moving to the States where he worked for many years at Colonial Williamsburg. He was a pioneer in both stratigraphic excavation in the States, and post-medieval archaeology. His excellent autobiography 'A passion for the past' was published in 2010 http://www.upress.virginia.edu/title/1502, below is a review I wrote for Diggers' Forum: 

Training Diggers and changing cultures: embedding a ‘Training Hour’ within the working week



My work as an archaeologist has often involved both receiving and giving on-site training, from a brief chat about how to record a context to a structured training session on stratigraphy or Roman building techniques. Training and development is central to every archaeologist; every project is different and there is always something new to learn, and that is one of the things that makes archaeology such a fulfilling and fascinating discipline. Training provision and Continuing Professional Development, although core to the profession, has been neglected and can often be reduced to Health and Safety courses such as First Aid at Work or CAT and Gennie, rather than specific, ongoing training in carrying out the day-to-day role. Over the last few years I've been working on how to change this, to make training available to all staff, at the place of work, and throughout their careers.
Clay tobacco pipe training session at 100 Minories with Chiz Harward
Training site staff: clay tobacco pipes.  photo LP Archaeology