Meet the Volunteer: Elliot

Tell us about yourself:

I’m Elliot Carey, I’m from Wolverhampton, and I’m just finishing off an undergraduate chemistry degree from the University of Nottingham. I’m then hoping to go on to study a postgraduate masters in archaeology to apply scientific analysis techniques to archaeological finds.

What does your role involve?

My role involves identifying and inputting roman coins and other small finds into the PAS database. This usually entails using relevant textbooks that have been written about a specific class of object, and trying to find similar examples already on the database. It can be difficult to get an exact match due to the sometimes poor condition of the find, but when you do get a good match it is very rewarding.

What area of history/archaeology are you most interested in?

Since starting with the Portable Antiquities Scheme I’ve taken to Roman history and archaeology. Most of the Roman coinage we get is from the Imperial period and I love identifying the age of the coins and finding out where each individual coin was minted. It really shows the extent of the Roman Empire.

Why did you start volunteering for the PAS?

I’d only seriously considered archaeology as a job since starting my first year of my chemistry undergraduate degree. I wanted to find out more about archaeology and whether it was something that I could see myself going into a career in. I knew the University of Nottingham Museum of Archaeology was on campus so I decided to look for volunteering opportunities and ended up identifying finds with the PAS.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for the PAS?

As I’ve already said, one of my favourite things to do is to identify Roman coins and establish their mint date and their location. I’ve also studied beginners Latin while at university and I love being able to read the occasional inscription.

What is your favourite find from Nottinghamshire that has been recorded on the PAS database and why?

After a lot of thought I have concluded that I don’t really have a particular favourite find, although it would probably be a roman coin. My favourites are always coins that are well enough preserved that the depiction of the Emperor is clear enough to give a good idea as to his identity. The ordinary everyday objects showing the logistics of the Empire are what fascinate me. A simple coin minted in a far flung region of the Empire but found in Nottinghamshire is enough to thrill me.