Hello, my name is Lydia Prosser and I’m currently the Headley Trust Intern to Becky Griffiths, the Finds Liaison Officer for North and East Yorkshire. I’ve only been doing this job for three weeks but I have already learnt so much, not least how to spell ‘liaison’ (with two ‘i’s!). My main job is to identify the many varied and wonderful objects found by the public and record them on the database. This was a little daunting at first, but I’m finding that the more objects I identify, the easier it becomes and with Becky’s direction I was soon off to a good start. On the second day, I was thrown in at the deep end and set to work on a whole lot of Roman brooches. After a couple of days I was seeing Roman brooches in my sleep!
The best thing about working as a Finds Liaison Assistant is the variety (as well as the frequent cups of tea). A medievalist by trade, I did my first degree in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. Come September I will be starting a Master’s in Medieval Archaeology at the University of York, alongside working here at PAS. This love of the medieval extends to my hobbies; when not working or studying I can usually be found wandering around one of Britain’s many cathedrals or dressed up in medieval garb. Yet, it’s nice to be able to develop my knowledge for periods other than the medieval and to cultivate my slightly neglected interest in the Roman era.
It’s great to be working at Yorkshire Museum due to the wealth of the museum’s collection and the wonderful people who work here. As part of my induction to PAS I had a tour of the museum and its collections so that, in the words of the curator, I would ‘get to see the shiny things’ before getting used to looking at scraps of corroded metal. This was fantastic: the Escrick Ring is even more impressive in the cold metal, although, admittedly, I am still ridiculously excited about the scraps of corroded metal that end up on my tray and don’t think that will change.
During the next couple of weeks I will be learning how to photograph the finds I have recorded and how to use photoshop to edit the images. I will also experience my first Finds Day – it will be nice to meet some of the people who actually find the artefacts; public engagement is after all at the heart of the Portable Antiquities Scheme. I’m also looking forward to processing my first treasure case sometime soon: Becky has promised me a good one!