The Alberta Damage Prevention Council proclaims April as Safe Digging Month! Who knew? This really refers to not hitting buried facilities, but we are gonna roll with this… Archaeology is not a dangerous practice at all. Our greatest risks include driving and getting dust in our eyes, perhaps wildlife (ooh, scary cows). Alright, and back pain (which I regularly have). Some folks might have wrist injuries and knuckle drag, but that may be because you still have some things to learn… like get a proper trowel!
I have found that North American archaeologists generally love the Marshalltown, which I find has great flexibility and is generally sharper (because it has a thinner blade). However, I am the #1 fan of the WHS, which you cannot purchase anywhere in North America (if you know somewhere, please let me know). I challenge any archaeologist to try a WHS and not love it. It’s specifically designed for archaeologists, by archaeologists. (This photo was taken by Jonathan Bateman, and is part of a write-up on the WHS Trowel by the University of Sheffield. It’s aptly titled, ‘Give me WHS or give me death!‘)
If you want to order the WHS trowel online, three great places are the Past Horizons Tool Shop, ArchTools, and Archaeology Tools, but if you live in North America, you will pay hefty shipping fees. If anyone wants to participate in a bulk order to save on shipping, let me know!