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TGIF, Boneyard-style

It's Friday! And Fridays are a big day (and night) at SHARP.

During our excavation season, our six-day working week ends at 3:15pm when we down tools (and clean them and put them away neatly, of course), have a cuppa and sit down to listen to presentations from students on courses of the week.

Week 2, 2017 BERTs talk about their research

We usually kick off with the BERTs - who have just completed BERT, our Basic Excavation and Recording Techniques course - talking about the research they have completed as part of their training, and then follow with the specialist courses of the week.

One of these was the long and terrible saga of the Death of Aethelweard, as dramatised by students on the Introduction to Human Remains course. It was a tale of high drama, death and forensic analysis, and will be coming soon to a crime show near you. Not really.

The terrible tale of the Death of Aethelweard (no archaeologists were hurt)

Presentations over, visitors and diggers head trench-side to hear about the week's discoveries and how they have affected our working interpretation of the site, as well as talk about where to from here. For SHARPies not working in the field, this is our main opportunity to catch up with the latest news from the trench.

(Visitors from off-site are always welcome to Friday afternoon presentations and Site Tour so if you find yourself in the area, and want to drop in for a cup of tea and to learn more about our work, drop in!)

Brooke explaining the trench to the Friday Site Tour group.

When Site Tour ends, then the week is done! And it's time for dinner then Friday night entertainment, which usually involves music, time to relax with friends, and perhaps a few chilled beverages.

We have a long tradition of live in-house music provided by SHARPies who bring along their instruments and generously share their talents with the rest of us. Added to this are the occasional special guest performers who visit the Boneyard to provide entertainment and food for thought.

Hugh Lupton, performing Beowulf under the Marquee

Last year we were very fortunate to have Hugh Lupton, one of Britain's leading story-tellers, come and treat us to a mesmerising and evocative telling of the Anglo-Saxon classic Beowulf.

Hugh will be back in 2018 for another enthralling performance of folk tales and songs from the fenlands with The Mardling Acre on 20 July. Details and tickets are available here on our Events page.

On another Friday night last year we listened and danced to some socially aware tunes from the John Preston Tribute Band, who will also be returning in 2018 to head up our 'Back to Boneyard' reunion night on 27 July - more news to come on that soon!

John Preston Tribute Band performs the Marquee

Eventually the entertainments come to an end, and work-weary diggers will head to bed, or possibly make their way to our after-hours hidey-hole in the Chalk Pit to carry on a quiet party. Or gather around a fire to stay warm in the late-night chill.

On Saturday morning we'll emerge, blinking and bleary, from our tents and head off for the traditional Saturday morning greasy-spoon breakfast at the beach, before starting it all again on Sunday...

The eternal focus of night-time human interaction: fire.

We all look forward to Fridays as a great end to a week of hard work, learning and making new friends.

To come and be part of our Friday fun - and the rest of the week too, of course! - check out our website, courses and events and get your booking in soon!


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