Cracking On During Lockdown

Hello, been a while! So, we were originally planning to give you an exciting blog post around now, all about lots of different research going on at Vindolanda, and other conferences that each of us were attending during Spring. Unfortunately, as we all know, plans have changed just a little tiddle bit. But of course, there are still plenty of things going on at TUBA!

Digital Models

The fantastic thing about digital modelling in archaeology is that people can view artefacts without needing to directly handle them and risk damage. This is not just within the museum environment, but from your home too! Have you seen our new 3D models? We’ve got a few!

Come on down and do the locomotion! This is a laser scan of the Locomotion No. 1 at the Head of Steam Museum, Darlington. This has also been 3D printed for the museum!

Explore part of Teesside University campus! This involved terrestrial laser scanning and a ton of compression to make small enough for online hosting.

If you’re interested in 3D imaging for your own research and museum collections, feel free to take a look at our reference collection of different colours and materials, and get in contact if you’d like more information or scanning done!

PhD, or not to be?

Although that-which-must-not-be-named has thrown a right spanner into all our work plans, we’re adjusting our plans accordingly and doing our best working from home. Luckily (?), we all had plenty of writing up to focus on whilst we can’t access the labs. Although, admittedly, working from the kitchen table on those precious IKEA dining chairs comes with a bit more backache than from our lovely office space at the NHC and Middlesbrough campus. And yet – style over substance, they say!

Even under those conditions, we have seen some major milestones, and what kind of update would this be without at least mentioning PhD progressions? Better yet, it’s all good news. Helga has passed her 3rd annual review and is flying into her final write-up! Aboli has also passed her 2nd annual review, and is raring to go with degradation experiments. Finally, Rhys has submitted his thesis (!!) and is nervously excitedly looking forward toward his viva in the coming weeks. Fortunately, TUBA can still virtually get together each to make sure we are all in good spirits which, admittedly, always ends up as teasing Helga about what stage her unborn baby is on the vegetable scale [edit from Helga: currently a cauliflower or acorn squash depending on your sources].

Whilst Teams has been fantastic at enabling distance communications, control over the camera layout leaves a lot to be desired… sorry Helga!!


We’ve got a couple papers well in the peer-review process, covering our work with pXRF for leather and soil analysis, archaeological mapping, 3D imaging, and burial degradation. These will get their own behind-the-scenes blog post when they come out, so look out for those hopefully coming soon!


Finally, the National Horizons Centre will be reopening within the next 1-2 months, with enough social distancing measures in place to avoid needing an eyesight test. And oh boy, are we excited to get stuck in with using brand new, top-range equipment in a whole load of experiments we have planned! If you’re struggling to get some analysis done or can’t access your labs more than once a fortnight due to social distancing in the coming months, get in touch and see what we might be able to do together!

The NHC waiting in anticipation to welcome us again

Until next time, when we shall have some brand-spanking, tip-top, exciting new things to share with you!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *