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How to Get a Workout While Wet-Sieving

Written by Carli Peters, a student volunteer at the Barnham excavations.

Excavated sediments drying after being brought up in bags

During the first week of this years excavation I discovered the best way to get in shape while working on an archaeological site: wet sieving. This may sound strange at first, since wet sieving itself is not that physically demanding. However, it is not the wet sieving itself that is a great workout, it are all the processes associated with wet sieving that are physically intense.. and that is where I come in.

At Barnham all the sediments that are going to be sieved are dried first after which they are soaked with washing powder (see tomorrow’ s blog by Simon O’Connor). This means that the sediments need to be moved around after they are excavated. I am in charge of all of these processes and thus mostly spend my days walking around with sediments bags and buckets filled with sediment. During the first week of the excavation I transported 2166 litres of sediment, which is the equivalent of 3465.6 kg (twice) and I walked approximately 15 km a day while doing so.

Buckets of soaking samples waiting to be sieved

So if you ever feel like you could use a good workout for the day, you are welcome to give me a hand -it will take some of the weight of my shoulders!