Young Archaeologist of the Year 2018: Introducing Martha
Martha Mansfield is 17 years-old. She was nominated by her Young Archaeologists’ Club Branch Leaders, Diane and Penny, from our Museum of Cannock Chase Branch in Staffordshire.
Martha has been attending history-based activities at the museum since she was 10 years-old and has been a member of the YAC branch since its inception in 2014. Martha has now decided to deepen her involvement in the YAC by applying to become a YAC assistant so that she will be able to develop new leadership skills and maintain her interest in archaeology. Martha is also a member of the Museum of Cannock Chase Youth Collective as Youth Ambassador for the Museum.
Diane and Penny nominated Martha because she has lots of interests (see below) and is “passionate about all aspects of history, museums and archaeology. These interests, and of course school life, make her a very busy lady but she makes sure that she very rarely misses a meeting. We have always found Martha to be a very enthusiastic and sensible member of our club who will always help out when ever needed and we feel honoured to be able to nominate her.”
We asked Martha some questions about herself, how she got involved with archaeology, what she enjoys and what it means to be nominated:
I’m Martha and I have been home-educated since I was 4 and a half and I am now at Norton Canes 6 Form studying History, English Literature, Sociology and Psychology A-levels. I love sports, and I am a fully qualified swimming teacher, and have been swimming with Walsall Swimming Club for 7 years. I am also part of Erdington Judo Club. I really love to sing and am in three choirs and have had the chance to travel the country singing a new score commissioned for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare.
Ever since I was little I've always loved history and archaeology. I used to watch loads of Egyptology programmes when I was little, which always fascinated me and made me want to study archaeology. Years on I still have that passion for history and now I want to become a historian. My favourite time periods are the Tudors and WW1.
My favourite archaeological experience was probably being part of the Messines Project when I was 11 years old [this was an excavation of a model village created by prisoners of war in WW1]. More recently, it’s been helping with a field project we are undertaking with the YAC members.
I would never have had expected to come this far, so it’s a real achievement for me [to be nominated]. I'm always striving to improve myself, so this seems like it’s finally starting to pay off.
The winner of the Young Archaeologist of the Year Award will be announced at the Council for British Archaeology’s Annual Archaeology Day in York. More information is available here: CBA Archaeology Day