Archaeological students and a Load of Old Rubbish

19.10.2015

Archaeology students put their archaeological knowledge to the test and investigate the social context of several Welsh households - by looking at their rubbish.

On Friday afternoon, archaeology students at UWTSD meandered into class, some curiously, others cautiously, looking at the piles of full recycling bags on the tables.

Cue the archaeology lesson: what can we learn about the past from remains of the past?

The students were encouraged to filter through the recyclable (cleaned!) rubbish and assess, in teams, what 'type' of household the rubbish came from.

Perhaps it is surprising how much information can be gathered from one's rubbish: a single person? Wealthy family? Pets? Healthy lifestyle? Male, female? The room was filled with speculative remarks and discussion as the groups tried to establish the social and cultural patterns of the individual Welsh households in 2015.

Archaeologist and UWTSD lecturer, Dr Ros Coard, explained, "examining through household rubbish is an excellent exercise for students to understand archaeological records, and consider how these records are formed, excavated, and interpreted".

Speaking to one archaeology student, Rosy Nye, she says "it's enjoyable and great to actually be involved and interacting with the degree - applying the theoretical to the practical."


There are several degree programmes available within Archaeology, and all are based on UWTSD's Lampeter campus. For more information, visit the Archaeology webpages. If you'd like to know more about Archaeology at UWTSD, you can come along to an Open Day or Visit Day at the Lampeter Campus.