Young Archaeologist of the Year 2017: Introducing Cassie
For the last three years, Cassie Bradshaw has taken part in the Ribchester Revisited project, a long-term excavation of Ribchester Roman fort in Lancashire led by Dr James Morris from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
Cassie is one of four shortlisted nominees for the 2017 Young Archaeologist of the Year Award. The Award is one of the Marsh Archaeology Awards, organised by the Council for British Archaeology and the Marsh Christian Trust.
For the last three years, the excavation at Ribchester Roman fort has been one of the featured digs of our Dig It with YAC! competitions. Three young archaeologists get a unique opportunity to spend a day on site, fully experiencing what it is really like to be an archaeologist. Cassie was one of the first winners, back in 2015.
Dr James Morris explains more:
"Cassie threw herself into the excavations in 2015, helping the younger winners and embracing every aspect from excavation to small finds photography. After that first day, Cassie has been a constant part of the project. Volunteering at weekends when she could in 2016, and this year spending two full weeks on the dig.
"In this time, she has actively developed her archaeological skills and understanding. It has been a pleasure to see her develop from a 15 year old, who had never been on a dig, to a mature 17 year old, confidently defining archaeological features.
"This year Cassie volunteered to spend the day working alongside, and looking after, the Dig It with YAC! competition winners as they enjoyed their first taste of archaeology. She was fabulous with the winners, passing on her enthusiasm and skills whilst acting as an excellent role mode too!"
Cassie wrote a blog for YAC about her archaeological adventures (so far!). In it she describes the other digs that she has been on, and explains what she hopes to do next:
"I am now in my final year of college. I am studying chemistry, geography and ancient history, which all help towards archaeology. My next step will be going onto university to do an integrated master’s degree in archaeology, hopefully at the University of Central Lancashire starting in 2018."
Cassie's nomination for the Young Archaeologist of the Year Award included quotes from many of the adult archaeologists and students of archaeology that she has worked alongside on the Ribchester Revisited project:
"Her enthusiasm is infectious and all the teams working with her quickly come to appreciate and respect her dedication, diligence, accuracy and perfectionism." Dr Ash Lenton (Lecturer, Australian National University)
"Cassie is the best and most enthusiastic young archaeologist I have meet in 20 years of archaeological study and work." Dr James Morris (Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Central Lancashire)
“Cassie has shown a remarkable aptitude for archaeological field work to the extent that I only realised during the 2017 field season that she is not yet a university student! In conversation, she displays the best attributes of someone who wants to study and work as an archaeologist, which is to be constantly torn as to what to focus on, and enthusiastically embracing each aspect of research or fieldwork you discuss with her.” Don O’Meara (Regional science advisor, Historic England)
“I first met Cassie in 2015 and I have seen her at Ribchester without fail every year since, sharing her joy and love for archaeology with everybody.” Louise Clempson (Masters Student, University of Central Lancashire)
“She has a natural gift for the technical aspects of archaeological recording and her infectious attitude brings out the best in herself and those around her." Tealeah Prior (Undergraduate Student, Australian National University)
Cassie is our 2017 Young Archaeologist of the Year!
She was presented with her Award by Dan Snow and Brian Marsh from the Marsh Christian Trust at the Council for British Archaeology's 'Day of Archaeology' in London on Monday 6th November. Read our interview with Cassie on the YAC website!