A field and buildings archaeologist for the past 30 years he has worked in a variety of positions and locations from Scotland to Iraq and Germany to Turkmenistan. He works closely with metal detecting groups, the Portable Antiquities Scheme and other interested groups to ensure wider cooperation within the field of public and accessible archaeology. He is an advocated for training in practical skills for both professional archaeologists and volunteers in order to chart progress and open the professiona to a wide range of people. His recent success of the BAJR Archaeology skills passport is to be followed by the careers passport. Mr Connolly is co-editor of the volunteer journal Past Horizons, founder and director of the British Archaeological Jobs and Resources website which advertises and advises on archaeological placement and salary structures. He also runs Connolly Heritage Consultancy carrying out fieldwork along with co-directing the Rampart Scotland field Training School in East Lothian and Aberdeenshire. He is an advocate of open discussion and runs the large facebook group for British Archaeology which supports all that are interested in UK archaeology –commercial, academic, research and public.
I started what was to become my archaeological career in 1983, when I was taken on as a ‘digger’ on a Manpower Services Commision scheme in Cumbria. This was followed by another MSC scheme in Trafford, and work on the circuit. It was clear that if I wished to continue in archaeology I would need a degree. I did not want to go back to school and I was fortunate that Prof. Arnold Aspinall let me into Bradford on the strength of a five minute chat in a corridor. The Department of Archaeological Sciences was and still is an excellent place to study archaeology. I was then awarded a NERC studentship at the University of Edinburgh for my PhD where Ian Ralston and Geraint Coles were my supervisors.