Lincolnshire Archaeology Student on 'Gory' Excavation Trip to Cyprus


While most of her friends will be enjoying their holidays somewhere hot, Jess File, 19, from Horncastle, will also be spending the summer on a Mediterranean island; though she will be excavating and analysing human skeletons in a cemetery in Cyprus.

"My interests lie on the more gory side of archaeology," Jess said. "Particularly around death and burial, so this field trip is an amazing opportunity for me.

"In Cyprus I'll be volunteering on a dig, excavating human remains and learning more about pathology, anatomy, and osteology. The site is very modern " the skeletons date from 1970 to 2010, so there are a lot of ethical, cultural, and social sensitivities to factor in as well."

Jess, a 2nd year Archaeology and Heritage student at the University of Worcester, has been awarded £400 by the University's Scholarship Panel to help meet the costs of the trip.

"This is an invaluable opportunity for me, and the experience I will gain out in Cyprus will really help me develop as an archaeologist. I will be using the scholarship to help fund the trip, and in doing so, it will support me in my long term plan to become a forensic Archaeologist," she said.

Jess is certainly passionate about her subject, and clear about the value in her trip to Cyprus. "It's incredible to imagine the lives of the people you are working with " whether you are working with modern human remains, or ancient artefacts, they all tell a story," she said. "The past is amazingly interesting and unbelievably vast. Understanding it can improve our knowledge of the change people have undergone, and this in turn can teach us more about the future and present.

"In the future I'd like to move in to forensic archaeology, starting with my dissertation " which I'm hoping to do on the West murders, so the things I'll be learning whilst in Cyprus should be ideal preparation for the future. It will certainly be a fascinating trip."