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Torrential downpours, sunshine and colours of the rainbow at Innovation Park Medway

Updated: Nov 11, 2022

Archaeology is not always glamorous! Sometimes it can be freezing cold, windy, wet and extremely muddy! Last December, Storm Barra hit the UK with hurricane-force winds and heavy rainfall. It was pretty miserable.

Right: Katie sponging out features full of icy cold water

We are always at the mercy of the elements, especially on exposed sites in the middle of winter. Bailing out features when they are full of water is a job, we all hate, but it sometimes has to be done if you want to continue digging one out or it needs to be recorded. We all have our little tricks to cope with the cold, whether it’s wearing super warm thermal base layers or heated insoles in our boots, anything goes. Heather Hanson, one of our archaeologists has described the amount of clothes she has to wear to try and stay warm…

"When we started, I was wearing trousers, a t-shirt, and a hi-vis jacket. Now I'm wearing two pairs of thermal leggings, two thermal tops, a thick woolly jumper (thanks mum!), trousers, hi vis jacket and a big man’s winter coat. I am still cold. My friend Jamie is often seen wrapped up in a balaclava, snood, hat and scarf over the top. He is also still cold."

It’s not always gloom and doom. We experienced some amazing sunrises, beautiful skies and rainbows during our time at the #InnovationParkMedway site. A very bold fox ambled unfazed across site one day, and a kestrel was spotted hunting on the runway of the airport. There were also groups of skylarks who have sung away on sunnier days, and an amazing food van pulled in every tea break with tempting treats, including bacon sarnies, chips and hot drinks. These all make cold archaeologists very happy!

Frances Morgan, Senior Archaeologist

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