Tuesday, May 24, 2016

National Geographic Journalist Andrew Lawler comes to Dig Berkeley.


 As a special Friday treat Andrew Lawler, a writer for National Geographic and an award winning independent journalist visited the site. We were given the rare opportunity for some Q&A as well as finding out about the world of global media.

Andrew Lawler talking to students outside of Trench 8

It was a good chance for members of the engagement team to meet such a relaxed man, who was more than willing to answer questions surrounding journalism and its application to archaeology. 
Andrew and photographer MK were given a tour of a freshly cleaned Trench 8 by Professor Mark Horton and site supervisors Sian Thomas and Emily Glass, while MK took photographs of our students being taught fieldwork, trowelling and digging their features. 
Andrew and MK were particularly interested in a good quantity of animal bone, including cow horn, which was retrieved from a late Roman/early Anglo-Saxon layer.
Andrew has spent the last 25 years investigating various subject areas from politics in Washington to archaeology in the Near East and doing lab research from Boston to Beijing. 
It was an absolute pleasure to meet Andrew and discover his career path and find out how he entered the media world. The team was surprised to hear that he did not study journalism at university, but rather studied Liberal Arts, including geography which is not too far away from archaeology!
According to Andrew, his Friday had so far consisted of delayed flights and getting lost in Bristol whilst looking for his hotel, but he had no regrets! This is part of the job and he highlighted how crucial it is for journalists to get out in the field to experience what it is you will be reporting on. 
The engagement team were keen to know what Andrew thought about our excavation and Berkeley Castle. Andrew said it was rare that he would go to a place and be surrounded by people in Tudor costumes, and that this was particularly apt as he is currently working on a story about ye olde Tudor expeditions over to America. He went on to say that what amazes him are how the layers of cross-Atlantic history connect Berkeley in the UK with his research and Berkeley in the USA. 
Cover of Smithsonian article written by Andrew Lawler, Picture by Tim O'Brien
Andrew also discussed his new book: “Why Did the Chicken Cross the World” which leads us through the unique relationship between man and chickens from the prehistoric to the modern era. It recounts the discovery of the chicken’s great ancestor, the ‘T-rex’, unearthed in Montana and is grown from his initial cover article, “How the Chicken Conquered the World”. Here’s a helpful link to the article: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-the-chicken-conquered-the-world-87583657/?no-ist. It’s full of great Historical knowledge!
Dig Berkeley have thoroughly enjoyed our opportunity to meet an award winning journalist and MK the photographer and thank them for dishing out their top tips for our budding reporters of the future.

Students excavating trench extension

- Bethany Holland & Alice Woods.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-the-chicken-conquered-the-world-87583657/?no-ist.

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