Meet the Volunteers: Taylor

Taylor in front of the Temple of Zeus in Athens, Greece. Copyright: Taylor Ehlers. License: All Rights Reserved.

Tell us about yourself:

I am currently a History MA student at the University of Nottingham. My area of study is the late Middle Ages, and my  dissertation focuses on the differences and similarities between Elizabeth Woodville, wife of King Edward IV, and Margaret of Anjou, wife of King Henry VI.

What does your role involve?

The recording of objects found in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire onto the PAS database so that the public and researchers may have access.

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

Within history I am most interested in the Middle Ages, but certain time periods such as the Tudors, Victorian, and Ancient Greece also have a hold on my heart. Within archaeology I find I am more inclined to learn about Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, and then biological archaeology, as I’d previously studied under Dr. Darryl de Ruiter (one of the finders of Australopithecus sediba at the Malapa site in South Africa).

Why did you start volunteering for the PAS?

I started volunteering for PAS for a variety of reasons, but the main one would be that I wanted to remain involved with archaeology as my studies had taken me out of the archaeological and anthropological realms. I also thoroughly enjoy being a part of an organisation that aims to record the past and make it accessible to the general public.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering for the PAS?

I would say the aspect I enjoy most from PAS, aside from working alongside wonderful people, is the fact that I can once again interact with history. Prior to my involvement with PAS, I had volunteered at a natural history museum in Texas and worked at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, which is the HQ of all global nautical excavations. I have only been on one archaeological excavation thus far, and I hope to one day be a part of another. PAS allows me to stay connected with not only the past, but with archaeology in general.

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

My favourite find is probably the post medieval gold jewellery link that dates to the 17th century (DENO-CBF274). Most likely from a bracelet chain, pendant, or perhaps a reliquary (a container for holy relics), there is evidence to suggest that the box-like structure is hollow. The suggestion that it is a reliquary find stems from the engraving of IHS on one side of the object which identifies as Jesus back in the 17th century. The owners initials are engraved on the other side as ‘MA’ above a heart. I find this item fascinating because of the condition it was preserved in and the almost simplicity of it.

Post Medieval gold jewellery link.
Post Medieval gold jewellery link (DENO-CBF274). Copyright: Derby Museums Trust. License: CC BY-SA