"Hello! I am Gemma and I am on a twelve month Community Archaeology Training Placement at the Northumberland National Park Authority (NNPA). I started at the Park in October and I am really looking forward to the exciting times ahead!
"I was born and bred in County Durham and had a passion for archaeology from a very early age. In order to turn these childhood dreams into a career I studied BA Archaeology at the University of Leicester and then an MA in European Prehistory at the University of Sheffield. After graduating I began a career in commercial archaeology, where I was fortunate enough to work in England and France on various archaeological excavations in both urban and rural environments. These sites covered a wide range of dates, from Prehistoric up to the modern day and gave me a broad background of knowledge and skills in excavation and survey.
"I am thrilled to show volunteers and members of the public what can be gained from observing the archaeological landscape of the National Park. By doing this I can also demonstrate what a positive part the younger generation can play in conserving this fragile and fantastic resource for future generations and how they can be an integral part of this process.
"Over the coming year I have many exciting projects planned. I am currently organising a programme of test pitting and topographic survey at the multi-phased landscape at Ravensheugh Crags. This landscape contains an abundance of cup marked stones and I am privileged to be working with both National and International Rock Art specialists on this project. I am hoping that another outcome will be the establishment of an independent community archaeology group in the south of the Park.
"At present I am also exploring the option of creating a rolling Young Archaeologists Club (YAC) in the protected landscapes of the National Park and the North Pennines AONB Partnership."
You can keep up with Gemma’s work on her community archaeology blog; Archaeology Beyond the Wall: http://www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/understanding/historyarchaeology/archaeologybeyondthewall