Archaeology rocks- Council for British Archaeology

Archaeology Matters

Fieldwork

Here is a list of excavations we have been informed about going on across the country. Please note that these are not organised by the CBA and we cannot accept responsibility for operating conditions of projects.

Roman Road Research & Excavations

Easter, May, and August Bank Holidays 2020

Chichester, from £10 per person

Easter 2020

At Exton the Grid of a potential Roman site has been found. Three Roman Road 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. From LIDAR this northern lane crosses the above Grid by the flood plain of the river Meon. We excavated both the Roman Lane and Grid (probably a street) here. The Grid was rammed chalk with Roman finds built up 50cm above the natural, its width agreed with the LIDAR 8m. Both Grid and Roman lane were buried deep under later Roman stone work, interpreted as an Edge or Quay to a water feature on the flood plain of r Meon. This was created by a large Causeway carrying the Principal E - W Grid and two minor Grid Lines across the Flood Pain (see above Report).

Over Easter 2020 a machine trench over 2 Grid Lines and 2 Roman Road Lanes will be excavated, and it is hoped to establish the state of Roman development over this Grid. The soils will be taken off to near the archaeology, and is an opportunity to experience archaeology as often occurs on professional digs.

May and August digs

The August Bank Holiday 2019 dig was on this Causeway, and found Principal E - W Grid Line. Its northern end was not reached and this will be continued in May 2020. What the Causeway was constructed of will be determined - to help determine how it was built.

May and August Bank Holiday digs will examine other Grid and Roman Lanes crossing the Quay to the water feature.

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. The training course is optional. 

Excursions can be arranged in the evenings to sites on the Roman Roads or other features with pub suppers after.

Reports and publications are available - see the booking form.

Experienced and novice excavators welcome. Further details contact Dr Richard Whaley, Field Works & School Director, 2 Rotherwick Court, Alexandra Road, Farnborough GU14 6DD (SEA appreciated), 01252 548115, 07599 875708 or visit the dig online Information and Booking Form - http://www.nehhas.org.uk/dig.htm

Welby Archaeological Training Excavation 2020

15th-19th June, 22nd - 26th June

Welby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, £250 per person

Join Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in the beautiful Leicester countryside for this week-long training excavation, which focuses on the teaching of archaeological excavation methods.

As well as offering the very best in archaeological training and support, this training excavation is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil requirements of the Archaeological Skills Passport.

As stated above this course focuses on excavation, it is suitable for all levels from beginner to experienced digger.

For those wishing to develop their skills, for students and post-graduates seeking to fulfil the practical experience requirements of their courses… for those wishing to pursue a career in archaeology, or improve their knowledge to give them the edge at work… for those looking to acquire cross-transferable skills… for volunteer diggers wishing to raise their game, impress their friends, and increase their enjoyment of archaeology and heritage through a greater skill set and knowledge base…. through to people simply wishing to learn for the love of learning…

Everyone is welcome… no previous knowledge or experience is required.

http://mercian-as.co.uk/welby.html

Archaeology at Ashton Court

21st June to 24th July 2020, Bristol, price varies

www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/tag/field-school/

Archaeology at Ashton Court is an exciting programme that involves local primary schools, secondary schools, sixth formers and members of the community in excavating one of Bristol’s most iconic landmarks. It is run in partnership with Bristol Museum, the Bristol City Council Parks team, Bristol Archives, Archeoscan, Heritage Schools, Artspace Lifespace, the Portable Antiquities Scheme, Wessex Archaeology and the University of Bristol.

Field schools

The 2020 field schools provide a unique opportunity to find out what archaeology really involves, learn useful skills, meet new people, experience a real dig and discover a whole range of exciting post-excavation techniques. All profits help support the work of Bristol Museum and help us to offer archaeological experiences to young people.

Each field school will take you through the whole archaeological process from choosing where to dig to what happens after excavations end. They offer a unique experience to help excavate Ashton Court, one of Bristol’s most iconic landmarks and a chance to go behind the scenes at Bristol Museum. Sessions include the theory behind archaeology; what happens out on site; how artefacts are recorded, studied and looked after; scientific techniques; and how to find out more.

Field schools are directed by Bristol Museum and led by experienced experts. Sessions are suitable for complete beginners to those who have studied archaeology before but are keen to find out more. They are open to everyone aged 16 and over.

For more information on any of our field schools or our corporate packages please contact field school director Kate Iles, Curator of Archaeology for Bristol Culture & Creative Industries - kate.iles@bristol.gov.uk

For details on the Fieldschools please visit www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/tag/field-school/ or download the form below. 

King John's Palace

Sherwood Forest Archaeological Training Field School 2020

13th-17th July, 20th-25th July, 10th-14th August, 17th-21st August 2020

Kings Clipstone, , £250 per person

This is not an ordinary fields school - this is a ‘training field school’ where you will learn about all aspects of archaeological excavation and receive hands on training and learning from archaeological professionals in the heart of Sherwood Forest…

As well as offering the best in archaeological training and support, the 2020 Field School is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil the requirements of the Archaeological Skills Passport.

This course is suitable for all levels from beginner to experienced digger. We cover the Core Skills of the Archaeological Skills Passport: Handtools (Trowel etc); Handtools (Spade, Mattock etc); Site Formation Processes; Stratigraphic Excavation; Context Sheet Recording; Site Photography; Site Grid and Trench Layout; Dumpy Level and Staff; Planning; Section Drawing; Artefact Recovery; Recording & Storage; Site Safety.

We also provide lessons in: 3 dimensional surveying with a total station; Finds Processing; Pottery identification; Finds handling; Finds processing; Flint Knapping Demonstrations; History of Ceramics lectures and much more…

Field Days include lunch provided by our field caterers which will be eaten in our welfare area in the field.

The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Training Field School focuses on the medieval hunting lodge and palatial enclosure of the King’s Houses, now known as King John’s Palace, and the designed landscape that surrounded it. King John’s Palace was the Royal Heart of Sherwood Forest in the Medieval period.

The site was visited by all 8 kings from Henry II to Richard II, with King John possibly holding a proto-parliament there in the early 13th century and Edward I holding Parliament there in 1290. As part of the field school attendees will have the opportunity to learn all about Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood, outlaws, foresters, the landscape of Sherwood Forest in medieval times, the forest law, courts, offences and judiciary, the Palace at Clipstone, monasteries, chapels and hermitages, hunting parks, Nottingham Castle , Sheriffs and much much more about life in Medieval Sherwood Forest.

You will receive training and experience in many techniques of excavation, including The Core Skills of the Archaeological Skills Passport: Plus many higher level archaeological techniques that make up the Secondary Skills of the Archaeology Skills Passport including: Survey (Total Station), Finds Processing and much more…

*Please note accommodation is not provided*

http://mercian-as.co.uk/fieldschool.html#sherwoodschool

Rampart Scotland: King's Park Stirling

13th-18th July 2020 

King's Park Stirling, £50 per day

The King’s Park, Stirling, is the oldest and best preserved Royal Park in Scotland and surrounds Stirling Castle, the ancient capital of Scotland. Excavation in 2019 dates the fort to the late 1st century AD, demonstrates that the occupant's traded with the Roman Empire and that it was burnt down. The training is relaxed and easy going and you can learn as much or as little as you want to. 

£50 a day, though you have to provide your own accommodation and food. 
For more information or to book a place contact Dr Murray Cook info@rampartscotland.co.uk 
http://www.rampartscotland.co.uk/

Battle Hill Prehistoric Landscape Project 

3rd-14th August 2020

Battle Hill, Aberdeenshire, £850 including room and board

The 20th Season of research into Aberdeenshire’s prehistoric settlement patterns. The training is relaxed and easy going and you can learn as much or as little as you want to. You will have the opportunity to excavate newly discovered archaeological remains that have never been examined before: including a 2500 year old hillfort, a Neolithic Cairn, 1000 AD bank; and a possible Pictish Structure. 

£850 including all room and board.
For more information or to book a place contact Dr Murray Cook info@rampartscotland.co.uk
http://www.rampartscotland.co.uk/ 

Wensleydale

Bainbridge Archaeological Training Excavation 2020

7th-11th September & 14th-18th September 2020

Bainbridge, Wensleydale, £250 per person

Join Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales for this week-long training excavation, which focuses on the teaching of archaeological excavation methods.

As well as offering the very best in archaeological training and support, this training excavation is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil requirements of the Archaeological Skills Passport.

*Please note accommodation is not provided*

Archaeological Training Excavation: This course focuses on excavation; it is suitable for all levels from beginner to experienced digger.

For those wishing to develop their skills, for students and post-graduates seeking to fulfil the practical experience requirements of their courses… for those wishing to pursue a career in archaeology, or improve their knowledge to give them the edge at work… for those looking to acquire cross-transferable skills… for volunteer diggers wishing to raise their game, impress their friends, and increase their enjoyment of archaeology and heritage through a greater skill set and knowledge base…. through to people simply wishing to learn for the love of learning…

About the site: The beautiful village of Bainbridge was formerly the administrative centre of the medieval Forest of Wensleydale, and the magnificent Bolton Castle near Leyburn dominates the valley to the east. A Roman fort looms large over the village of Bainbridge on the eastern side.

The site of the excavation is overlooked by a Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age Slight Univallate Hillfort. This fort occupies the high ground at the top of a steep slope on the southern side of the site.

We will be concentrating our excavations on the possible medieval manorial complex to the north of this fort, which has been identified from earthworks and recently discovered pottery.

The area is famous not only for its beautiful landscape, but also its world famous cheese, and as the backdrop to the television series ‘All Creatures Great and Small’.

School attendees will receive the following:

  • All techniques are taught and experienced throughout the week, a mixture of theory sessions and hands on training from our Archaeological experts.
  • Every attendee will be taught to excavate.
  • Delegates will be taught archaeological drawing methods.
  • Delegates will also receive training and experience in measuring and recording heights with a dumpy level.
  • Topics covered in the classroom sessions will include site formation and processes, stratigraphic excavation, context sheets, drawing and photography, alongside a Pottery Identification Training seminar.
  • Total Station training and surveying seminar and practical session.
  • Lectures are accompanied by ‘hand-outs’. These will be made available to attendees to download via a file-share. The details for access are provided prior to the field school. The file-share will be accessible to attendees from 1st August to 31st October 2020. The files can be downloaded at anytime during this window and are for students to keep. Mercian aim to be an environmentally friendly company and this helps us to work towards reducing our environmental footprint.
  • ‘Animal, Vegetable, Mineral’ artefact identification quizzes on most mornings!
  • This course is suitable for people of all archaeological abilities from beginner wishing to take their first step, to experienced diggers wishing to take the next step, and from university students and post-graduates needing more experience, to retired people wanting to fulfil a life’s ambition… all are welcome and will be treated equally… the experience is tailored to the individual through hands on personal supervision.
  • Field days include lunch (sandwiches) provided by caterers which will be eaten in our welfare area in the field.
  • A tuck shop is also available for snacks and drinks to be bought throughout the day.
  • On-site toilet facilities are provided.
  • All equipment is provided, although you are welcome to bring you own trowels etc (more details when you have booked

Evening field visits (there will be a chance to attend evening tours during the week) may include:

  • A tour around Brough Roman Fort, Bainbridge.
  • Trip to, and guided tour around Jervaux Abbey, Wensleydale.

You will receive training and experience in many techniques of excavation, including many Core Skills listed in the Archaeological Skills Passport:

  • Handtools (Trowel etc)
  • Handtools (Spade, Mattock etc)
  • Site Formation Processes
  • Stratigraphic Excavation
  • Context Sheet Recording
  • Site Photography
  • Dumpy Level and Staff
  • Archaeological drawing
  • Artefact Recovery, Recording & Storage
  • Site Safety

http://mercian-as.co.uk/fieldschool.html#bainbridge

Test pit

Mercian Archaeological Services CIC: Topographic Survey Training 5 day course

12th-16th October 2020

Kings John’s Palace and the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire, £200 per person

In archaeology the ability to measure the location of a site, artefact, or earthwork is essential.

Nowadays many archaeological sites use either GPS or Total Station for site survey. Differential GPS can record points of circa 1cm accuracy levels in three dimensions, and can also allow real time on the fly measurements to be taken allowing large areas of land to be surveyed. The total station is an electronic theodolite and Electronic Distance Measurer that records point locations by measuring distance and angles.

This course will teach the required skills that are used on excavations and other sites for locating features using GPS and total Station.

The course will also go further to enable participants to learn the complex skills of archaeological topographic survey, recording a site with a combination of both objective and subjective survey methods.

Topographic Survey Training day course aims to help participants learn about the theory, science, uses, methods, logistics, deployment, data collection, data processing, and reporting, behind archaeological topographic surveying.

The course will include a mixture of classroom and field based working. This is a field based training course consisting of hands-on experience backed up by some work in a classroom style environment. YOU will undertake the work in a group and collect real data in the field.

The course will include:

  • Introduction and theory, working in grids, mapping in 2 D and 3D, working with co-ordinates and heights, ‘X,Y, & Z’,
  • Pythagoras and Right Angles,
  • Levelling heights in ‘Z’,
  • Laying out a trench from Ordnance Survey co-ordinates - ‘X & Y’,
  • Introduction to Total Station & GPS,
  • Undertaking the survey - data collection, including control points, total station survey and cross-sections with a dumpy level.
  • Introduction to mapping in 3D with a Dumpy Level.
  • Downloading data,
  • Introduction to 2D mapping,
  • Creating a Digital Terrain Model in GIS.

*Please note accommodation is not provided*

Topo

Mercian Archaeological Services CIC: Post-Fieldwork Training School 2020

26th-30th October 2020

King’s Clipstone, £250 per person

This training school is designed to provide training and experience in various aspects of the post excavation process. All tuition and training will be carried out under the supervision of experienced tutors, with finds training lead by Mercian's ceramic specialist David Budge.

The course is designed to give delegates an understanding of what is involved in the post excavation process for finds, ranging from initial cleaning and processing of the finds as they come out of the ground, through to some of the specialist analysis that finds are subject to, through to illustration and preparation of the finds for publication.

The course is designed to allow delegates to gain experience of handling finds and to develop the ability to look at artefacts critically with a view to recognising the clues that give evidence of what they were used for and that can help to identify them.

The course also provides training in archaeological drawing techniques including preparing plans and /or sections for publication, and training in working with site archives to create site matrices.

Delegates will also learn archaeological GIS (Geographic Information Systems) including working with survey data, preparing maps, working with historic mapping, creating and working with 3D models.

http://mercian-as.co.uk/postexcavation_fieldschool.html

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