Case Study One
Name: Sreymony Bowron-Muth
Position: Archaeologist - construction
Company: Opus International Consultants
Years in construction: 4
While by chance Srey ended up in archaeology she is happy going to work each day and probably for the next forty years for the thrill of what happens on a construction site. Srey entered the construction industry after working at Canterbury Museum cataloging fossils and bones. Her work with Opus International involves monitoring demolition of buildings and excavations for new buildings to find any historical information. Any site that has pre 1900 activity requires an authority from Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and that’s when archaeologists get involved.
On a typical day Srey works with digger drivers, drain layers and labourers standing on the side of trenches being excavated, watching for bones and artifacts to pop up. Srey has worked on a range of construction sites from roading and walkways to commercial high rise. She's recently worked on a number of demolition sites in Christchurch. Srey has uncovered Maori coastal shell middens and 19th Century household artifacts. Her work involves a fine balance between preserving our past and making way for new developments. She enjoys working outdoors and on site, and finds watching something significant develop is rewarding.
To become an archeologist Srey studied for five years completing a Masters in Archeology at Otago University. At school she recommends doing Maths, English and Science, and perhaps Maori, but a general education is important.
Image by Margaret Yiannoutsos.