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What do archaeologists actually do? A HERO from Cheshire!

I am often asked, “well, what do archaeologists actually do? Well, actually there are a lot of different answers to that question. The thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think of archaeologists is, dare I say, a heroic Indiana Jones-like figure. I wish!

For most of us archaeologists, a large chunk of our work is office-bound. Paperwork, reports, briefs, project design, planning regulations and even writing a book or lesson plans are all part of what an archaeologist can be doing. Of course, excavation does play a part and there are many ‘archaeological units’ working the length and breadth of the country that provide that service to councils, developers and others who need their expertise.

One of the ways in which archaeologists work with local councils and developers is with the Historic Environment Record or HER. Local authorities in England and Wales are required to maintain a record of all archaeological sites, listed buildings, findspots and more. In short, everything anyone might need to know about the past. This record is constantly updated and revised. If you’d like to know more, one of the HER officers at Cheshire County Council has written on her job as part of last year’s Day of Archaeology (more on this in a later post!) You can read it here:

If you want to meet an archaeologist in the flesh and are in the King’s Lynn area next Thursday (9th) there is a chance to meet an archaeologist who has been involved on recent work on St Nicholas’ Chapel – full details here:


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