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.

Hyde900 2021 Community Dig

Dates:

19 - 22 August

Run by Hyde900

Acting chair of Hyde900, Caroline Scott, warmly welcomed being able to announce the fifth Hyde900 Community Dig thanks once again to the generosity of local householders in the area of the inner precinct of Hyde Abbey.

The dig will be returning to the area of the abbey cloisters where the 12th century stonework of the original cloister arches was found, and which is now on display in the Winchester City museum. 

Whilst the finds from the 2020 dig have yet to be fully analysed, there is now a lot more known about the diet of the abbey’s inhabitants, thanks to major finds in a garden further up King Alfred Terrace. The deposit of food waste found adjacent to the exciting discovery of the remains of a two storey building has thrown light on the seafood rich diet they enjoyed, whilst the nationally important find of over 5 Kg of medieval window glass points to the importance of the building.

The dig is open to anyone above 5 years old – although those under 18 need to be accompanied by an adult.

For further information, please follow this link.

The Hyde 900 project is supported by a grant from CBA Wessex.

Fieldwork

Sherwood Forest Archaeological Training Field School 2021

Dates:

19th - 23rd July

9th - 13th August

16th - 20th August

Price: £250pp

Run by the Mercian Archaeological Society 

This is not an ordinary field 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.

This course is suitable for all levels from beginner to experienced digger.

The Course Includes and Focus:

  • All techniques are taught and experienced throughout the week, with hands on training from our Archaeological experts. Every attendee will learn to excavate, draw sections and plans, and fill in context sheets and paperwork.
  • Delegates will undertake workshops in surveying including:
  • Measuring and recording heights with a dumpy level
  • Laying out a trench in the field from co-ordinates
  • 3 dimensional surveying with a total station
  • Hands on learning and training is supplemented with seminars covering many of the subjects listed above - providing the theory behind the practice.
  • 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 July to 30th September 2021. 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
  • 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 fulfill a life’s ambition… all are welcome and will be treated equally… the experience is tailored to the individual through hands on personal supervision.        
  • Lunchtime demonstrations:
  • Prehistoric Technologies:
  • Pot-boiler stone making
  • flint-knapping
  • Pottery identification
  • Field Days include lunch provided by our field 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 along with welfare tents.
  • All equipment is provided, although you are welcome to bring you own trowels etc (more details when you have booked).
  • As well as all the above you will learn about the history and archaeology of Sherwood Forest, and also about the designed royal hunting landscape and Palace at its heart. Mercian Archaeological Services CIC run the Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project and are at the leading edge of research into this landscape of legends.

2 Evening field visits (optional attendance)

Field Visit to Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve- learn about Forest Law, the History of Sherwood Forest, and see some of the archaeology in the Country Park- also visit the Major Oak, legendary hideaway of Robin Hood!

Field visit to Laxton - Visit the earthworks of Laxton Castle former home of the Keepers of Sherwood Forest (also with links to King John), see the medieval open 3 field system (the only surviving in England), and visit the church with its interesting carvings, and the local visitors centre with its 17th century map of the village and its fields.

2 evening lectures (optional attendance) 6pm-7pm, subjects to include:

 

    • History of Ceramics
    • Geology and Landscape of the Sherwood region - the importance of the “Ancient Landscape”
    • Viking and Saxon Sherwood Forest
    • History of Archaeology
About the Excavation 

The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Training Field School focuses on the royal 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.

Recent archaeological work by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC has helped to reveal the size and importance of the site, and has also interpreted the surrounding lordship as a ‘designed’ medieval romantic hunting landscape.

For further information and how to book, please use this link here.

sherwood forest

Bainbridge Archaeological Training Excavation 2021

Place: Bainbridge, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire 

Dates: 6th - 10th September

13th - 17th September

Price: £250pp 

Run by the Merican Archaeological Society

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.

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.

No previous knowledge or expereience is required. 

The Course Includes: 

  • 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 2021. 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 may include: 
  • A tour around Borough Roman Fort, Bainbridge. 
  • Trip to, and guided tour around Jervaux Abbey, Wensleydale. 
Please follow this link for further information and to book on the course.


bainbridge

Welby Archaeological Training Excavation 2021

Place: Welby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire

Dates: 14th - 18th June

12st - 25th June

28th June - 2nd July

Price: £250pp

Run by the Mercian Archaeological Society

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.


The Deserted Village of Welby is situated 3km to the north-west of Melton Mowbray town-centre, off the Nottingham Road (A606), in North Leciestershire.


The site “sits within a historically rich landscape with close proximity to prehistoric and Romano-British activity that could extend within the area of the site.”

The Course Includes:
  • 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 June to 31st July 2021. 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).
    Please follow this link for further information and to book on the course.
welby

Post-Fieldwork Training School 2021

Place: King's Clipstone

Dates: 25th - 29th October

Price: £250pp

Run by the Mercian Achaeological Society

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.

The Course Includes:

Finds Processing 

  • The course allows delegates to become familiar with a range of artefacts of different materials and types. 
  • Carrying out initial processing of finds as the come from site (including correct handling procedure, what can and cannot be cleaned, how to clean the things that can be cleaned, how to recognise when to call in specialist conservators) 
  • Carrying out marking of finds, knowing what details to mark and the best place to mark 
  • Carrying out an initial sorting of the cleaned finds, learning to recognise artefacts of different types made from different materials and how to package them from storage, conservation, or to be sent off for specialist analysis.
There will be opportunities to:
  • Learn some basic rules that can help delegates  to undertake basic dating of pottery from the region through taught sessions and hands on artefact handling
  • Learn from the standard and guidance used by ceramic specialists and the different stages of analysis that may be undertaken by specialists in the post excavation process, from initial scanning and spot dating, to assessment, through to analysis and quantification. 
  • Undertake scanning of contexts for spot dating purposes
  • Undertake supervised quantification of artefacts excavated from King Jokn's Palace. 
Archaeological Post-Excavation Training 
 
Archaaeological GIS Training
 
Please follow the link to find out further information and to book a place on the course. 


postexcav

Topographic Survey Training Course 2021

Place: King John's Palace, Sherwood Nation Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire

Dates: 11th - 15th October

Price: £250

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.


        

Students will meet at at King John’s Palace in Clipstone. The training will take place at the site of the Palace, and a survey will be undertaken in Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve. Full details of the site will be provided nearer the time, but will be within 2 miles of King John’s Palace (transport from the classroom sessions to the field will be provided if required).

The survey training will begin at King John’s Palace, former royal heart of Sherwood Forest, and then move to the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve where earthworks from Medieval Holloways and ridge and furrow to Second World War Military dug-outs will be surveyed.

As well as being a training survey, this course will undertake real archaeological research, mapping and recording earthworks as part of a level two survey of archaeological features as part of the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve Archaeological Survey.

The Course Includes:

  • Introduction and theory,
  • Laying out grids for surveying,
  • Geophysical Resistance survey,
  • Geophysical Magnetometer survey,
  • Ground Penetrating Radar survey,
  • Recording the location of grids,
  • Downloading data,
  • Working with geophysical data in GIS (Geographic Information Systems)
Please follow the link to find further information and to book on the course.
condor castle

‘Exploring Landscape Archaeology’ Course 2021

Place: King's Clipstone, Sherwood Forest

Dates: 24th - 28th May

Price: £250pp

Run by the Mercian Archaeological Society

This 5-day Landscape Archaeology course combines class-room lectures, practical workshops (using computer-based applications), field visits, and site tours of the landscape to give an immersive learning experience, introducing students to the wide and exciting field of landscape archaeology.

The course uses the legendary landscape of Sherwood Forest as the main case study, with site visits to the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve and other local historic landscape locations, and also includes examples from around the UK and the wider world, to enable students to experience the subject first-hand and to begin seeing the landscape in a new way.

The course introduces many of the methods available for examining, recording and viewing the landscape, and for reconstructing historic landscapes, including:

  • topographic survey,
  • geophysical survey,
  • LiDAR and landscapes,
  • multi-spectral data,
  • historic mapping analysis,
  • aerial photography,
  • archaeoastronomy, and the relationship of landscapes to skyscapes.

The above will cover the theory and methodology of the various techniques above. Geophysical and topographic survey will not be undertaken on this course (please see Topographic survey courses and geophysical survey training courses if this is required). Delegates will get to work with Historic mapping data, aerial photographs, and LiDAR data sets.

The physical landscape is explored including:

  • the geological formations (and geological history),
  • soils,
  • topography,
  • rivers,
  • and in particular the resultant impact these physical aspects have on subsequent settlement patterns and land-use.

The cultural or human landscape is then studied in relation to this underlying physical landscape, including:

  • settlement patterns,
  • toponymic survey (place-name studies) and what place-names reveal of the physical and cultural landscape.
  • villagescapes and daily life,
  • Geology and the built environment,
  • agricultural practices (pastoral and arable),
  • the importance of different plants and their uses, and the impact on the landscape (focusing on Sherwood Forest).

Field trips identify features in the landscape as studied in the classroom and discusses how landscapes can be reconstructed from this evidence.

The course then looks at different layers of the imaged or human landscape:

  • political and administrative (including Viking assembly, hunting, and Forest law as local case studies)
  • human landscapes and experience
  • philosophy and landscape,
  • art, poetry, literature and landscape,
  • skyscapes and monuments,
  • semiotics (the signs, language and symbols) of landscape,
  • allegory and landscape (literary, religious and cultural - case studies include Clipstone and the Designed medieval landscape),
  • legendary landscapes (including Robin Hood).

The course then looks at some of the ways archaeologists attempt to understand the subjective human experience of landscapes in the past including:

callisthenics, and

phenomenology of landscape

The course is located at King John's Palace in Sherwood Forest, and includes site visits to the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve and surrounding landscape.

Please follow this link for further information and to book on the course.

landsape
Share this
Back to top

Participate in archaeology now!

Join the CBA