Archaeology Personal Statement

Finding a Denarius of Domitian was one of the highlights of the “Discovering Dorchester” archaeological dig this summer with Oxford Archaeology & Oxford University. I put into practice some of my first year A level Archaeology course and confirmed my fascination with civilisations of the past. During the dig I gained practical experience for example, using a mattock to excavate an Anglo-Saxon posthole and excavating many amphora sherds and cow mandibles. I learned about excavation, site photography, artefact recording and how to complete context recording sheets.

I enjoyed work experience with xxxxxxxx Archaeology, assisting with an excavation in Worcester, as well as helping label and categorize finds from a medieval site in Ludlow. Having an insight into both commercial and academic archaeology has endorsed my interest in the subject.

Studying Philosophy and Ethics at A level is providing me with analytical skills I feel will be useful for an archaeology degree, as criticising evidence and theories is a key to archaeological progress. Additionally studying Psychology has given me an insight into the humanity behind evolution. Studying how people behave in their social relationships and cultures personifies archaeology for me.

Tracing my genealogy on the Isle of Skye back to the 13th Century intrigued me. The Highland Clearances caused by hostile landlords, climate factors and forced migration prompted my interest in researching why some civilisations fail. I have recently read ‘Collapse: Why Societies Choose to Fail or Survive’ by Jared Diamond and watched many of his online lectures. The book particularly illustrated the effects of deforestation, soil erosion and climate change; factors whose importance I underestimated as a cause of societal failure. Easter Island is now on my list to visit, especially as recent excavations have discovered bodies to the Easter Island statues.

My archaeological interests have taken me to the fascinating Roman Cisterns of Istanbul, with its fallen Medusa statue. I also found the transformation processes a religious building can go through over time particularly evident in the Hagia Sophia. Visiting Stonehenge was a huge source of enchantment, especially the mystery of the Blue Stones. Moreover, now because of the discovery of the ‘Superhenge’. I have also partaken in artefact handling at the Ashmolean Museum where I was thrilled to handle a small faience hedgehog from Ancient Egypt. I have also visited the Bronze Age mines in Llandudno, the British Museum, Chester Amphitheatre, hillforts in north Herefordshire, and I am planning on visiting West Kennet Long Barrow later this year to research my particular interest in excarnation. I am reading British Archaeology magazines to give me insight into current research. Andy Young’s article on ‘Knobs, spirals, fire and platonic solids’ was of particular interest to me, showing how experimental archaeology can be used to explain and aid theories.

Combining my studies with being a St John Ambulance cadet for the last 5 years has given me the chance to work and communicate well as a member of a team. I make important, complex decisions quickly and this year have been nominated for an award. I am a ballroom dancer to Gold Bar level which requires much regular practice and tenacity. I am deputy editor of our sixth form newspaper, a published poet and was runner up for the Young Poet Laureate of xxxxxxxshire.

I would relish the opportunity to study for a degree in Archaeology. To explore a subject I feel passionate about would develop my ability to analyse, question and understand more about how societies have evolved through their material remains and why that’s important today.

Description: 
Profile University of Oxford, Interview, no offer University College London - Offer Durham University - Offer Liverpool University - Offer University of York - Offer
Year applied: 
2016
Subject: 
Archaeology

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