Situated in Nairobi, Kenya, the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) offers three- to six-month internships to recent graduates from Archaeology and Social Sciences with an interest in Africa, focusing on the eastern part of the continent (http://www.biea.ac.uk/study-with-us/graduate-attachment-scheme/). These graduate placements are the perfect opportunity to further explore one’s research interests and get more experience of archaeological research in a dedicated environment.
Agathe Dupeyron provides a summary here of her internship experience:
I graduated from Cambridge in 2012 with a focus on African and Latin American archaeology, and went on to do a Masters in Public Archaeology at UCL. With this background, I decided to experience myself how our discipline is developing in the modern African context. As such I applied and was accepted on to the British Institute internship scheme, based in Nairobi, Kenya.
The attachment has proven a fantastic opportunity. The scheme allows the possibility to explore a range of ideas, both within and outside one’s original specialisation. Indeed, the Institute is multidisciplinary, focusing on subjects as diverse as anthropology, archaeology, history or law, but allowing them to conflate. Although only halfway through the internship I have already been involved in a range of projects. I have worked on the Kilwa maritime archaeology project directed by Dr Edward Pollard, within which I analysed ceramics from several sites along the Swahili coast. In February I will assist Dr Pollard with field survey and excavation along the Kilwa coast in southern Tanzania. I have also assisted Professor Ambreena Manji the director of the BIEA with an academic paper focusing on land law in Kenya and the impacts of road building in Nairobi.
So far I have been most involved in the Marakwet Community Heritage Mapping project coordinated by Matt Davies and Henrietta Moore (both from Cambridge). In December 2013 I participated in an international workshop in Tot, Marakwet, focusing on African Farming (http://farminginafrica.wordpress.com/), which enabled me to become more familiar with the Marakwet region and people, and also meet and exchange with scholars from Kenya, Nigeria, Malawi and South Africa.
Agathe Dupeyron trekking along a tradition irrigation channel in Marakwet, northwest Kenya.
Overall this internship has helped me to develop a range of skills linked to archaeological research, including artefact analysis, survey, the logistics of fieldwork, editing, and writing for publication, among others. These skills will no doubt help develop my career as an aspiring public archaeologist. I would strongly recommend the scheme to any graduate motivated by African archaeology who would like to seize the opportunity to develop their own interests and learn to become a better researcher. The 2014 placements will be advertised on http://www.biea.ac.uk/study-with-us/graduate-attachment-scheme/ around April 2014.