Archaeology rocks- Council for British Archaeology

Archaeology Matters

CBA volunteering

Excavations at Pocklington Canal, North Yorkshire © Canal & River Trust

The Council for British Archaeology is at the heart of the UK's archaeology community. Our aim is to create opportunities for archaeology for all and open up this fascinating field to everyone.

We keep you in touch with what's happening in UK archaeology, whether you want to take part in a dig or join your local archaeological society.

We also offer a number of ways you can get involved with us through volunteering, from helping to protect historic buildings, to getting involved with your local CBA Group or inspiring young people through our Young Archaeologists' Club.

Help to protect historic buildings

We are looking for Casework Input Volunteers (click link to find out how to apply). 

The Council for British Archaeology receives more than 4000 listed building consent applications a year for England and Wales.  Our role in the planning system is to flag up any issues of concern in order to protect the historic environment.

Much of our listed building casework is carried out by local agents: historic buildings interest groups who make site visits and assess the impact of proposals on the character and significance of the historic building and site.

We are looking for new volunteers to cover parts of the country where we have no agent group to advise on listed building cases. Ideally, the group will have a good knowledge of the area’s built heritage and history and can read plans and drawings, although some training is provided.

Take part in a dig

Many excavations and projects welcome volunteer help, though some may make a charge for this. Find out about fieldwork opportunities in CBA Briefing in British Archaeology magazine or on our website. You can also find out about archaeology projects through these sites: 

  • British Archaeological Jobs and Resources (BAJR) mostly advertises employment opportunities but does also sometimes offer fieldwork placements.
  • Past Horizons lists excavations both in the UK and overseas 
  • Dig Ventures are an independent project that have various digs set up around the world for volunteers. 
  • Do-it for general volunteering opportunities in museums/heritage organisations

Get involved with your local CBA Group

The network of voluntary CBA Groups around the UK provide information and resources, carry out and publish their own research and organise events and activities to raise the profile of archaeology and encourage more people to get involved. Get in touch with your local Group to find out more volunteering opportunities.

Staffordshire Hoard Conservation © Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Inspire young people

Our Young Archaeologists' Club has a network of local YAC Branches around the country who rely on teams of volunteers to run them. We are always looking for new adults to get involved as Branch Leaders, Assistants and Helpers.

YAC Branches offer their members a huge range of different activities. You might find yourself organising and running activities to help young people:

  • Find out how archaeologists excavate
  • Try their hand at historic crafts such as spinning and weaving or flint knapping
  • Visit archaeological or heritage sites
  • Try out food from different periods of time
  • take part in a real live dig!

Help is also needed to run the Branch and look after membership administration.

Volunteer at the CBA office

Here at the CBA secretariat in York, there are often opportunities to contribute to conservation and community projects and help us with our day-to-day work.

We are also looking for CBA champions to help raise our profile at a local level and promote our membership programme.

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