"Hello. I’m Jan and I am the Community Archaeology Youth Engagement bursary holder at Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust. I started work at the Trust’s office in Swansea in October and work takes me all over south east Wales, from Chepstow and Monmouth in the east to Merthyr Tydfil and Swansea in the west.
"You may have guessed from my picture that I am a little longer in the tooth than the rest of the trainees. That’s because I have reinvented myself several times. I began as an industrial chemist and then spent fifteen years as a secondary school teacher. Over the past decade I have been involved in community archaeology mostly in mid Wales as a volunteer. During this time I gained a lot of experience working with local groups, obtaining funding and working on excavations and surveys. So I decide it was time to take the plunge and become a 'proper archaeologist'.
"I started with a distance learning course at the University of Leicester and then I studied for a masters degree in Social Archaeology at University of Trinity Saint David, Lampeter. The course gave me the opportunity to develop links with the academic and professional archaeological community across Wales, as well as bring an extra dimension to my community involvement. My main interests are industrial archaeology and landscape archaeology. I hope to develop an unhealthy interest in the early medieval period and specialise in archaeological textiles, which was the subject of my masters dissertation.
"I am currently developing youth engagement projects in Neath Port Talbot, Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Cardiff and Swansea, and I hope to work with partners from every local authority in GGAT’s area before the end of the placement. My hope is that by the end of the placement I will have developed materials that can be used by community groups to enthuse young people about their own local heritage."