Jane Stewart is a Community Archaeologist at the School of History and Archaeology
Archaeology and history has always interested me and I developed this further as a mature student. I moved from north Wales to Penarth in 1982, and attended Barry College of Further Education. Then, in 1993 I graduated from the University with a 2.1(Hons.) degree in archaeology.
It was the start of a long and enjoyable career in the profession. After working on environmental archaeology projects and as an illustrator for various archaeological publications, my career took me to the Midlands where for the next 12 years I worked for Birmingham City Council museums service. This included posts as senior museum assistant, historical costumed interpreter, documentation officer and project leader at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
My work here had a strong outreach element and projects were aimed to engage traditionally Ďhard to reachí audiences. As part of the project, historical and archaeological objects were taken out to a Bangladeshi community centre in central Birmingham where the local community could fully appreciate them in more familiar surroundings and away from the museum environment.
My career moved on, and I became a Finds Liaison Officer for the national Portable Antiquities Scheme in the West Midlands and Staffordshire region. The scheme seeks to record archaeological finds reported by the general public on a database and provides professional advice. I was privileged to record many amazing finds but the best has to be a beautiful Roman bronze and enamelled patera (dish) in fantastic condition, with an inscription detailing some of the forts on Hadrianís Wall, and one of only three known similar examples!
I first became interested in engaging the public in archaeology as an undergraduate and have been fortunate to have been actively interpreting and improving access to museum collections and archaeology ever since.
I was delighted to be appointed to my present post and to have the opportunity to return to both the University and the Cardiff area. Since the beginning of 2007 I have worked at the School of History and Archaeology as a Project Officer and Community Archaeologist for the Cosmeston Community Archaeology Project
I have been busy devising innovative and interesting ways of engaging the community in archaeology and providing opportunities for their involvement in archaeological investigation. Iím also involved in improving access to the finds archive at Cosmeston and raising funding for the continuation of the project.
Iím always delighted to see people coming along and taking an interest in archaeology and learning about the history of their community.