Nathaniel is Young Archaeologist of the Year!
The Marsh Community Archaeology Awards are supported by the Marsh Christian Trust and organised by YAC's grown-up parent charity, the Council for British Archaeology. The Awards were presented at a ceremony at the beautiful British Academy building in London in November.
And we can now announce that the 2016 Young Archaeologist of the Year is... 17-year-old Nathaniel Tegg from Reading!
Nathaniel has been interested in archaeology, especially Roman Britain, since he was 8 years old. He spends a lot of his spare time at the Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum near modern-day Silchester. Nathaniel has a vast collection of artefacts that have been found at Calleva on the ground surface and in the disturbed surface caused by rabbits. He says:
Some of my most prestigious and fascinating finds include Samian Ware fragments, detailed black burnish ware fragments, hypocaust tiles, Roman glass, tesserae and finally painted wall plaster. I have individually identified each item using my own knowledge but also research and comparison with other finds.
Earlier this year Nathaniel took his Roman collection to the BBC TV show The Antiques Roadshow, where he was chosen to be filmed for the programme. He loves sharing his passion for ancient history and archaeology with his friends and family, and is planning to study archaeology at university.
Nathaniel's Classics & Ancient History tutor at The Henley College, Kathleen Garbutt, describes Nathaniel as "a passionate devotee of all things ancient". She said:
Nathaniel displays a genuine passion for the ancient world and natural talent for understanding both its history and culture.
YAC asked Nathaniel...
YAC HQ caught up with Nathaniel to ask him a few questions about the Award and his love of archaeology:
Why does archaeology interest you so much?
Archaeology interests me so much because when you get close to an artefact you are looking at something a person many years ago would have also been looking at. I find the secret lives of people hidden in objects the most interesting thing.
How did you feel when you discovered that you had been chosen as Young Archaeologist of the Year?
I was really shocked. I had just got home from doing test pits on a farm and checked my emails and there it was. I didn't expect to win.
Who has inspired you in your interest in archaeology?
A lot of people: my father who taught me a lot on Roman finds, my ancient history and classics teachers, and one of my idols Mary Beard who is the reason I hope to do archaeology television presenting some day.
What is your favourite personal find or discovery?
I don't have a really specific favourite find, but probably it would be a piece of red painted wall plaster. It's just incredible that it has survived for 2,000 years!
What archaeological site would you most like to work on, and why?
Calleva Atrebatum (Silchester). It's been the site that I have field walked for years and would love to get properly close up to it and dig it; it would be incredible to do.
What is next for you in archaeology?
I've applied to study Ancient History and Archaeology at Reading University.
If you could travel back in time to any archaeological period, where would you go, and why?
I would travel back to the 2nd Century AD and visit Calleva (Silchester) because I would just want to see what it was like when it was a busy town and experience it in person. I would want to look at where my finds from the town fit in place.
If you had to describe archaeology in five words, what would you say?
Archaeology is lots of rubbish!
Thanks for talking to us, Nathaniel!
And HUGE congratulations once again from everyone at YAC.