August 5, 2015
Hello, my name is Serina Tabisola and I am from Orange County, California. I am attending UCLA studying physical anthropology. I love learning about humanity in general and I especially love learning life sciences. At my school we have a lot of IFR programs that the professors participate in so I went on the website and looked for a field school that fit the three criteria; comfort, safety, and interests. I wanted to gain field experience so Blackfriary fit everything I was looking for. It is my first time abroad so I decided it would be best to go to a country that spoke the same or similar language as me. Ireland also seems like a relatively safe place to study as well. As I stated earlier I love life sciences and learning about humanity so the bio-archaeology aspect of the Blackfriary project really intrigued me. I am hoping to gain more experience and put my book knowledge to a practical use.
I have been here three weeks and it has been an experience. I have started to realize that I may love and want to do this work but my body does not (my allergies have been killing me!) but the work is absolutely amazing. I want to learn as much as I can about bio-archaeology. I am currently helping excavate a potential burial and I hope it does turn out to be a burial and not just DHB. It would be amazing to be able to participate in the process of removing a burial and helping prepare it for the lab setting. The staff here are very supporting. Everyone is very caring and they understand that some students have different limitations in their work ability. They are really great at helping you find a job that you fit best and they are very informative.
The first week here I aided in cleaning Cutting 2. The second week I was placed in Cutting 10 and we were excavating through clay fill, but halfway through the week my allergies got really bad and I got switched to post-ex. I washed a lot of bone and pottery, learned how to properly label and record the information of each item. This week I was able to wash human remains and for the past two days I have been aiding in excavating a fully articulated burial. I would have to say though that my favorite part so far has been the field trips. It has been really fun to go out and see the Boyne Valley area and better understand the importance and context of the site we are working on.