Trowel tales and true – Kate and Amy Boyd
I thought it would be interesting to profile some of the people who have volunteered to do fieldwork at Zagora in 2013. Most are archaeology students undertaking either undergraduate or postgraduate study. Others trained as archaeologists or studied archaeology some years ago but decided to earn their living doing other jobs. Yet others trained as classical archaeologists but work as archaeological or heritage consultants in the Australian context. All of these have maintained an interest in classical archaeology and spend many of their holidays volunteering on projects all over the world.
Amy and Kate Boyd belong to another category. Kate is a high school Visual Arts teacher and Amy is a high school Maths teacher, both of them currently working in the Illawarra.
Kate took a Bachelor of Creative Arts course in her training that was taught by Professor Diana Wood-Conroy who had not only worked on another current University of Sydney archaeology project – Paphos Theatre, in Cyprus but also was a member of the 1967-1971 Zagora excavation team.
Professor Wood-Conroy mentioned she thought Kate might enjoy volunteering to work on the Paphos dig and encouraged her to apply to be a volunteer, so Kate did and was accepted.
You may not know that there is actually fairly keen competition to work on archaeological digs as a volunteer. Volunteers must apply and go through a selection process. If they are selected to participate, they must pay their own fares and, depending in the particular project, also sometimes contribute towards their accommodation costs. Imagine that – paying to work, and work hard!
Kate loved working at Paphos so much, she volunteered again. However there was no excavation season at Paphos this year (it will resume next year), so Hugh Thomas, who Kate met at Paphos (and who is a trench supervisor at Zagora this year), suggested Kate might like to try working at Zagora this year.
Kate’s sister, Amy, had been so enthused by Kate’s archaeological experiences, they both decided to submit a volunteer application, and both were accepted.
Like Kate, Amy has taken to archaeological work like a duck to water.
You can see from the photos they both muck in hard, along with everyone else. And they both add a lot of cheer to the team (which really helps when it’s hot and dusty and you are working physically hard).
When I first interviewed them, I had planned to interview other volunteers about their archaeological experiences. The reality of life here though, is that I’m so busy either working on the blog or working on site, that I wasn’t going to have time to interview many of the volunteers – especially as many of them are leaving after working Friday at the site, at the end of the first three weeks, and another lot will arrive over the weekend. So I have emailed out questions and invited people to answer and there may be more posts about the volunteers coming along that way – possibly even from Kate and Amy.
Meanwhile, I thought I should leave you with a photo I took of Kate and Amy on Sunday, when we had a hat contest and parade – thought up by Lydia Beaumont-Cankaya to give the First Three-Weekers the opportunity for a party (which the Second Three-Weekers will have with a Halloween party).
Kate won first prize with her creation. But let the photo speak for itself: