Beth Spence MLitt ACIFA FSA Scot

Post Excavation and Conservation technician

Beth SpenceAfter graduating from a degree in Archaeology and Scottish Ethnology at the University of Edinburgh in 2007, Beth went on to gain a postgraduate qualification in Material Culture and Artefact Studies from the University of Glasgow in 2011. During her studies she specialised in the research and analysis of ceramics, particularly prehistoric and unglazed Medieval wares. Having completed an industry training placement focussed on finds work, she went on to work within an archaeological unit initially as an assistant/supervisor and latterly as a Project Officer.

Beth has built up experience as a project director, and has directed a range of projects from initial fieldwork through excavation stages and post-excavation phases through to publication reporting. These include two phases of excavation in 2012 and 2014 of a multiphase prehistoric site near Girvan, incorporating a partial Neolithic cursus, Bronze Age burnt mounds and structures and an enclosed Iron Age roundhouse. More recently in 2016, she directed the excavations of a Medieval Bishop’s Manor and later seventeenth century tower house at Partick, Glasgow, in which there was national media interest. Beth has experience of overseeing teams of project assistants and supervisors, and liaising with a range of people within the industry including historic environment curators, clients and specialists.

Beth also has experience working on a range of community and outreach projects. Since 2012 she has worked on several seasons of community digs and ‘Big Dig’ projects in the Bannockburn area, most recently directing an event at the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre in conjunction with the National Trust for Scotland, with over 100 local volunteers and delivering workshops to school groups. 

Following on from her post-graduate training, Beth has also built up experience in post-excavation and finds work. Having initially secured a role centred around post excavation and archiving and gained experience of environmental and finds work at assistant level, she went on to develop a broad knowledge of material types as a Project Officer, and has worked regularly with delicate objects and on more complex finds projects, both in the field and as lab excavations. This has included undertaking and overseeing the excavation of a range of prehistoric vessels, various decorative metal objects, two jet bead necklaces, and most recently the excavation of a Bronze Age hoard including a sword and gold decorated spearhead with organic coverings. She has also undertaken public outreach and media events in relation to finds projects. In addition to excavation, post-excavation and publication reporting as project director, Beth also has experience of completing specialist analysis and artefact reports pertaining to smaller material assemblages, including artefact photography as necessary, and regularly completed research and analysis methodologies for post-excavation research designs.

She joined AOC in August 2017 as a Post Excavation and Conservation technician, in order to pursue post-excavation, conservation and finds work full time.

Selected bibliography:

Spence, B, 2017, The preliminary results of the recent excavations at Castlebank Street, Partick: the medieval and seventeenth century remains, Scottish Archaeological Journal, 39:1, 101-107

Ballin-Smith, B and Spence, B, 2013, Prehistoric Pottery, in Will, B, Soutra Hill; Prehistoric and Medieval Activity on the Edge of the Lothian Plain, Archaeological Reports Online 3, GUARD Archaeology Ltd, Glasgow