Archaeology rocks- Council for British Archaeology

Archaeology Matters


An up to date list regarding the various excavations taking place around the country. 

Archaeology Live!

Various dates throughout 2017

Archaeology Live! is York Archaeological Trust’s annual training excavation. The dig is set in the centre of York and offers trainees the chance to work with professional archaeologists and to learn and practice the various techniques of archaeological excavation. During Archaeology Live!, the archaeology is entirely excavated and recorded by the trainees with assistance and advice from the trainers. It is a field-based training programme where people learn by doing, making exciting discoveries in a location famous for its wealth of archaeology.

2017 will be our fourth season of excavation taking place in the grounds of All Saints, North Street – one of York’s finest medieval churches. Alongside the chance to learn more about this historic building, the team will be continuing to build upon the story of the church’s grounds. So far we have found extensive evidence including finds and features from the Victorian, medieval, Viking and Roman periods. Also, as we are lifting adult burials this year, there is a special opportunity for those interested in osteology to gain experience. People of all ages (14+) and experience levels are welcome, with training fitted to suit individual requirements. It is a chance for the public to get behind the scenes and in the thick of an archaeological dig, to learn from professionals and add new knowledge to York’s amazing history.

Dates are as following:

Spring Session

TBC - email to register interest

Summer Session

26th June - 15th September 2017

Weekend Courses

TBC - email to register interest

Full information on course types and prices can be found on the website or you can email to register your interest.

Archaeology at Aden Country Park

March - June 2017, Various dates

Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire

A successful application to the HLF will allow anyone to get involved in the archaeology and heritage of this area of Aberdeenshire. The park is full of archaeological sites of all periods and we are just starting to map these and work out what they are and when they date from.

Ali Cameron of Cameron Archaeology who is leading the project with Ironside Farrar and Aberdeenshire Council said ‘This phase of the work we will be investigating a possible Bronze Age site, possible stone circle site and World War 1 trenches. There will be digging, survey, work with finds and opportunities for schools and groups to visit the site and get involved in the work. We are keen to get as many people involved as possible. If it’s a career that you want to follow, always wanted to go on a dig or just want to find out a bit more about the area where you live then come along and join us’.

Saturday 25 March 10am-3pm
Geophysical surveys will be carried out in two areas of the park in late March 2017.
Geophysics Open Day with Rose Geophysical Consultants at the Aden House ruin.
Sue Ovenden, Director of Rose Geophysical Consultants said ‘A variety of geophysical equipment (resistance, gradiometry and ground penetrating radar) will be in use on the day. The day will be informal with people able to drop by at any time during the day (10am to 3pm). We will be available to discuss the equipment and the wider use of geophysics in archaeology. There will be some discussion of the initial results from Aden Park as well as results of other surveys, including other sites in Aberdeenshire, also being discussed. For people who are familiar with the equipment from television programmes but who would like a more detailed understanding of the systems, there will be opportunities for ‘hands on’ experience’.

27 March - 8 April 2017
Excavation at possible Bronze age site
A group of fascinating banks and circular structures in a wood near the Aden caravan park will be surveyed and excavated to look that the structures and hopefully get dating evidence.
OPEN DAY Saturday 1 April

1-13 May 2017
Excavation of World war I practice trenches
Practice trenches would have been common in Aberdeenshire for training soldiers in trench warfare. A series of trenches probably date to this period and these well-preserved examples will be surveyed and excavated to see if there is any evidence left by the people who trained here.
OPEN DAY Sunday 7 May

5-11 June 2017
Investigation of possible stone circle site
Following a survey by Rose Geophysics in March, trenches will be dug in the area to look at the structures uncovered during the survey. There are also hints of linear structures in the field and these will also be investigated.
OPEN DAY Saturday 10 June

Participation in these projects is free and they are open to people of all ages and abilities. Most of the areas are fully accessible and full training will be given.

For more information please contact Ali Cameron on 07581 181057 or by email at

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

The Poulton Project Archaeology Courses

10 - 21 April and 26 June - 25 August 2017

The Poulton Project is a multi-period rural excavation 5 miles south of Chester, which has produced extensive evidence for 10,000 years of human activity. The site was discovered during the search for a lost Cistercian Abbey, when excavation unexpectedly revealed the foundations of a medieval Chapel and associated graveyard, with an estimated 2000 burials.

Continual research has also uncovered Mesolithic flints and later tools of Neolithic and Bronze Age farmers. Notably, the site contains the largest Iron Age lowland settlement discovered west of the Pennines. An extensive and high status Roman landscape is indicated by structures, industry and field boundaries, which have produced a large assemblage of ceramics, metal and building material.

The Poulton Project offers students the opportunity to excavate well-preserved archaeology from a variety of periods. Currently, Iron Age and Roman features and the Medieval Chapel and graveyard are available in our field courses.

Please note that no accommodation is offered, but there are several camp sites and B&B accommodation available locally.Details and assistance in locating suitable accommodation will be provided.

The courses are designed as an introduction to excavation techniques, plan and section drawing, context recording, photography, finds processing and surveying. Deposit required when booking.Minimum two week booking required for skeletal excavation.

For more information please visit the website or email Kevin Cootes at

The project supplies all tools and equipment, mess tents, toilets and facilities for tea, coffee,
etc. Students need to bring suitable digging clothes, footwear and lunch.

The Poulton Research Project is a registered charity. Number: 1094552

Roman Road Excavations 2017

Chichester Roman Road

Bank holidays from Easter - August 2017

At Beacon Hill, near Exton (which is on the A32) a ditch has been cut across the Upper of 3 Roman lanes. This enabled us to drawn a section in 2016, showing that the chalk had been levelled. Part of the Middle lane was excavated, showing it was slightly lower than the Upper Lane. We return to this site in Easter 2017 to continue these two lanes. Nearby coin finds and optical evidence suggest a Roman fort, and we will make a plan during of it the Easter weekend.

At Exton the Grid of another potential Roman site has been found. In 2016 a dig was started where the Roman Road lanes divide. Three lanes go into the Grid, two go through it and on under Old Winchester Hill. The fourth 40' lane takes a different route - but connects with the N - S Grid of the settlement. Evidence was found for Roman stonework on one lane in 2016, which will be continued in 2017 towards a second lane. From LIDAR this first lane crosses the above Grid by the above the flood plain of the river Meon, and we section both the Roman Lane and Grid (probably a street) here.

Winchester - London Roman Road

Weekends in September 2017

In Chawton Park Wood we have found three parallel features, two are Roman Roads and one we believe is a water feature. There are disturbances which may be Dark Age dykes cut across these features, and Dark Circles which may be further Roman Water Features. These will be explored after the harvest.

A training course of five modules is available. They cover: Site Layout and Recording, Excavation, Surveying, Finds Processing, Geophysics and new Roman Road methods. They consist of instruction and exercises. You need to book for at least 5 days to complete the course - but you can carry it over to next year.

Experienced and novel excavators welcome. For further details contact Dr Richard Whaley, Field Works & School Director, 2 Rotherwick Court, Alexandra Road, Farmborough, GU14 6DD. Telephone 01252 548115/07599 875708. Email

You can also visit our website for more information.

An introduction to archaeology: Field walking and test pitting a Roman Villa at Sittingbourne

27 May - 29 May 2017

Kent Archaeological Field School

This May Bank Holiday weekend for Kent Archaeological Field School shall look at the ways in which archaeological sites are found. Field walking techniques will be tested in the field and  test pits dug to confirm the extent of the villa. 

Members £25 for the weekend (non-members £50)

For more information and a booking form visit the website.

Saveock Dig and Field School

5 June - 31 July 2017

Excavations on a multi-period site dating from the Mesolithic to 17th Century.

All welcome, training provided on site, no experience necessary.

We will be working on site Monday - Friday each week.

Cost £200 per person plus £25 for lunches per week.

No accommodation on site but student recommended accommodation is featured on the website. Student discount available when booking and paying in blocks of 4 students (£700 for 4 people per week).

Contact Jaqui Wood on 01872 560351 or email

For more information on the site and the field school please visit the website.

Yorkshire Vernacular Buildings Study Group: Walkabout in Bolton-by-Bowland

17 June 2017

A walkabout in Bolton-by-Bowland, formerly in the West Riding, with Kevin Illingworth. There will also be a longer walk taking in farmhouses in the surrounding countryside.

For more details please see the website.

East Wear Bay Field school 2017

July - August 2017

East Wear Bay Field School is running for a third year at the impressive site located on top of the cliff overlooking East Wear Bay in Folkestone, Kent, right on the edge of the Dover-Folkestone Heritage Coast. Unfortunately the area is prone to erosion and with it goes the archaeology on top of the cliff. We are currently running an archaeological field school to record the archaeological remains at the site before they are lost forever. 

The site has long been known as a Roman Villa. Our work has revealed that it was also a late Iron Age trading settlement, as well as the production site for a major industry producing querns from the local sandstone. This site has fast become recognised nationally and internationally important - and there is still much more left to discover.

Training sessions are currently in 1,2,3 or 4 week blocks. You will be trained by professional archaeologists from Canterbury Archaeological Trust, and our training is evidenced by the BAJR Skills Passport. You will have the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of an archaeological excavation, including recording, surveying, and finds processing. Additionally you have the chance to engage in some public outreach as our site is open to the public daily.

If you aren't able to commit to a full week we are offering one day experiences where we will give you a taste of what archaeology is about. We will give you a tour of the site, you will have a go at excavating an archaeological feature, and in the afternoon you will be able to process your finds if you wish.

Further details can be found on the website.

Come and join us in our third season to discover more about the archaeology of this incredible site!

Excavtion of prehistoric cairn at Newbarns

1 July - 30 August 2017

Annual excavation  of prehistoric burial Cairn dating from Neolithic to Iron Age. Later medieval settlement in a defended Motte & Bailey c. AD 1200.

At Newbarns, Dumfries and Galloway.

Local camping sites available nearby.

Under 16s welcome with adult supervision.

Cost on application and professional training by arrangement.

Apply with CV to Project Director via e-mail

Tel: 01556 680478. Or visit the website for more information.

SHARP (Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project)

2 July - 11 August 2017

SHARP is a rural excavation 30 miles north of King’s Lynn which has been running for over 20 years. Excavation of the site has revealed an Anglo-Saxon living and industrial area where a sequence of grain malting ovens has been discovered. Along with these discoveries, Roman and Medieval sites have also been revealed. The project offers a wide range of courses, ranging from basic excavation training, researching human remains, learning about archaeo-metallurgy and putting the skills into practice, and environmental archaeology.

The archives are open to those wishing to focus on research, along with the records of the past twenty seasons.

Minimum of one week booking required for excavation and courses. It is recommended that those taking the basic excavation training course book another week to develop their newly learnt skills.

There is camping space available on site, and limited B&B accommodation is available locally. Three meals a day are provided Sunday to Friday, with Saturday being a change over day and only providing dinner. Vegetarian, vegan, and other dietary requirements are catered for.

Bookings are available for those who are 18+. People who are 16 and 17 may participate with parental permission.

Open to all levels of experience.

For more information please visit the website. For booking information please contact

The project provides all tools. However, trowels must be purchased from the onsite shop. Volunteers must bring suitable clothes to dig in and study boots.

SHARP is a registered charity. Number-1064553.

Sheriffside 2017: a Hillfort on the Edge of Empire

10 - 21 July 2017

East Lothian, Scotland

Help uncover Sheriffside's story on our archaeological fieldschool uncovering a 1000 year settlement sequence from 600 BC to 400 AD.

Cost £795, include all accommodation, food, travel to and from site.

Open to all levels of experience.

To find out more visit the website or email Dr Murray Cook at

Student training week on a Roman villa near Faversham, Kent

7 August - 13 August 2017

Kent Archaeological Field School

It is essential that anyone thinking of digging on an archaeological site is trained in the procedures used in professional archaeology. Dr Paul Wilkinson, author of the best selling "Archaeology" book and Director of the dig, will spend five days explaining to participants the methods used in modern archaeology. A typical training day will be classroom theory in the morning followed by excavation at a Roman villa near Faversham.

Topics taught each day are: Monday 7th August: Why dig?

Tuesday 8th August: Excavation Techniques

Wednesday 9th August: Site Survey

Thursday 10th August: Archaeological Recording

Friday 11th August: Pottery identification

Saturday and Sunday digging with the team

A free PDF copy of "Archaeology" 3rd Edition will be given to participants. Cost for the course is £100 with free membership of Kent Archaeological Field School. The day starts at 10am and finishes at 4.30pm. For directions to the Field School see the 'Where' section of the website. For camping nearby see 'accomodation'.

For more information and to download a booking form please visit the website.

Battle Hill Prehistoric Landscape Project

14-25 August 2017

Battle Hill, Huntly, Scotland

Archaeological fieldschool on a Bronze Age hut-circle. Located in a previously unrecorded hillfort with early prehistoric lithic scatters.

Cost £795, include all accommodation, food, travel to and from site.

Open to all levels of experience.

To find out more visit the website or email Dr Murray Cook at

Investigation of Prehistoric features at Hollingbourne in Kent

4 September - 17 September 2017

Kent Archaeological Field School.

An opportunity to participate in excavating and recording prehistoric features in the landscape. The week is to be spent in excavating Bronze and Iron Age features located with aerial photography and Geophysical survey.

Members free non-members £10 a day.

For more information and a booking form please see the website.

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