Archaeology rocks- Council for British Archaeology

Archaeology Matters


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.

Liss Archaeology: Colemore Project

19.09-14.10.19, Colemore,  42 Furze Hill Road, NE Hampshire GU35 8HA (site closed on Wednesdays)

Set amongst the rolling hills in the west of the South Downs National Park, halfway between Alton and Petersfield, views over the edge of The Weald stretch away in the distance.  Little was known about the site until the landowner discovered some pottery dating to the Romano-British period when the field had a final ploughing before it was laid to pasture.  In 2009, a chance comment during an organised walk led to ongoing investigations by Liss Archaeology.  During this time over half of the field has undergone geophysical survey revealing a fascinating buried landscape of past rural settlement.  Ten seasons of excavations and test pits plus desk-based research and topographical survey have taken place.  To date, many features, including an 80m by 90m rectilinear enclosure with a 50m square enclosure seemingly attached; a raft foundation and associated flint wall foundations; a potentially winged, corridor, rural villa, currently extending to over 25m in length; a foot-worn track-way entering the small enclosure apparently bordered by small gullies and into the large enclosure via a causeway; a pond likely to be associated with iron industry plus an excitingly functioning water management system complete with filtered fresh water! Many additional features within the enclosures have been unearthed that date throughout the whole Romano-British period. Tantalising hints of earlier occupation have been seen adding an Iron Age origin to occupation on the site (currently!). North of the large enclosure, a ladder system of smaller enclosures stretches away past curving, linear and rectilinear features towards a small round pond reliably filled with water.  At this stage the geophysics plots suggest that the archaeology respects the pond and years of archaeological exploration are eagerly anticipated.

In 2019, two excavations are planned.  In April/May the targets are features seen as geophysical anomalies towards and beyond the pond and outside of the main enclosure.  The September/October excavation target is likely to be determined upon the results of the spring excavation, a large trench is planned.

Training is available in all aspects of archaeology, all skills levels welcome. 

Volunteers from all walks of life are welcome to take part.  From 18 to 80’s, all abilities.  In addition to excavation, finds processing, sieving, soil analysis, recording, planning and drawing plus surveying take place to professional standards during the dig.  Local schools take part in on-site archaeology education, outreach education also available. Students are encouraged to experience community-based, volunteer archaeology with a friendly group of like-minded people. Taster days available.

 Membership (£15.00 per annum, due 31.03, students half price) is required for insurance purposes.  Membership forms and dig booking forms can be found on our website,

Dig fees at Colemore are £6 per day (student’s half price), payable in advance; we are non-profit making covering costs only.  Extremely Limited camping available (no extra cost but first come, first served applies), please email us if you would like to camp and further details/availability can be advised.  Accommodation nearby.  Facilities: Tree Bog compost toilets plus a ‘bring your own shower’ facility.  Tea and coffee provided at start of day and all breaks.  Transport from Alton, Petersfield and Portsmouth available most days. 

Members can also take part in;

Alton Big Dig – July 13th – July 28th

Stroud Village Excavation and Fieldwalking – August 2019

A further series of geophysical surveys are also planned for 2019 at Colemore and elsewhere plus an excavation (following the test pit project) in Stroud near Petersfield, Alton Big Dig, field-walking, excavation elsewhere and more!

For further information, please contact us or book through our website

Colemore Project
Colemore Project

Saveock Water Archaeology

01.07.19 - 16.08.19

This the 19th season on this multi period site at Saveock in West Cornwall. The site includes a Mesolithic camp, Neolithic ritual area, Bronze Age metal working site and 17th century pagan pits (which were featured in a National Geographic TV film). This season we plan to open up a new area next to our Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age crystal hearth feature. No experience is necessary as we are a training dig and you will be taught all the basic techniques on site. The dig runs Monday to Friday from the 1st July to the 16th August. Fee £200 per person per week with an extra £25 per week if you include lunches. Children between 14 years and 16 years can dig if accompanied by an adult.
For dig information go to our website page or  Facebook  Saveock Water Archaeology. No accommodation included.
Contact for information and a booking form.
Telephone: 07785908209


Saveock Water Archaeology Summer 2018
Saveock Water Archaeology Summer 2018

The Poulton Project Archaeology Courses

01.07.19-09.08.19, Cheshire

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 animal bone, 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 eastern chapel graveyard are available in our field courses. 

Student fees are as follows: £400 for a two-week course. Four to six week courses are available

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.

Website: Contact: Kevin Cootes e-mail:

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


Poulton Project

The Newbarns Project

01.07-20.09.19, Dumfries & Galloway

Excavation and research of Prehistoric village complex. Enquiries welcome from volunteers of all ages and fitness.  Students and under 16s subject to conditions.  Experienced diggers welcome.  New applicants to send CV.  B&Bs, camp/caravan sites nearby. 

Contact Project Director at S.A.T. (SC040018), Kingston, Rhonehouse, Castle Douglas, Dumfries & Galloway DG7 1SA or:



Alton Big Dig

Rampart Scotland

5-16.08.2019, Battle Hill Huntly, Season 4

Help explore a newly discovered Iron age hillfort, Neolithic cairn and Pictish structure. All welcome, costs £800 (includes food and accommodation) with the potential for part time options. For more details or to book a place contact Dr Murray Cook on

Sherwood Forest Archaeological Training Fieldschool 2019 

22.07.2019 - 23.08.2019

Location: King John’s Palace, Kings Clipstone, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
Dates: Week A: 22nd  July to 26th  July 2019,  Week B:  29th July to 2nd August 2019, Week C: 12th August to 16th  August 2019,  Week D: 19th August to 23rd August 2019
Cost: £250 per person
Age: 16(+) but please email to discuss regarding 15 yrs and under
Training / Experience: No experience required
Accommodation: No

Organisation: Mercian Archaeological Services CIC
Name: Andy Gaunt or Sean Crossley
Address: Staffordshire House, Beechdale Road, Nottingham, NG8 3FH
Telephone: 07512 845 291

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.

You will receive training and experience in many techniques of excavation, including 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
  • Collection of Samples
  • Artefact Recovery, Recording & Storage
  • Site Safety

Plus many higher level archaeological techniques that make up the Secondary Skills of the Archaeology Skills Passport including:

  • Survey (Total Station)
  • Finds Processing

As well as covering skill requirements for the Passport we also provide:

  • Pottery identification,
  • Finds handling,
  • Finds processing,
  • Flint Knapping Demonstrations,
  • History of Ceramics lectures,
  • And much more…

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

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. The site was used for hunting and feasting, jousting and entertaining royalty. According to legend King John held Parliament under an oak tree there in the run up to Magna Carta, and Edward I held Parliament there in 1290.

Piddington Roman Villa Excavations

27.07-25.08.19, Piddington, Northants

42nd season of excavation by the Upper Nene Archaeological Society, of a late Iron Age settlement and Romano-British villa complex at Piddington, Northants. Excavation is currently focussed on superimposed structures on the approach to the villa.

Volunteers (16+) required with some previous excavation experience.

Fees: from £25 pw; campsite, with basic facilities, refreshments and cooked lunches available.

UNAS owns and runs the Piddington Roman Villa Museum, a multi award-winning Accredited Museum (by Arts Council England), which houses the site archive and also displays and interprets the site.

Full details from:

Diana Friendship-Taylor,


01604 870312

Maldon Archaeological and Historical Group - Volunteers needed

29.07-10.08.19, Beeleigh Abbey, Maldon

The Maldon Archaeological and Historical Group, with Archaeology South-East, will be investigating a field next to Beeleigh Abbey, Maldon, Essex from 29th July to 10th August. The Abbey preserves standing remains of the 13th century and is a private house. Excavation in an adjacent field 2001-2006 revealed a medieval hall house, a smithy, a bake house and a brick clamp. The field now under investigation is thought to have been within the monastic precinct. In the post-medieval period, there was a farmyard in it. These may have incorporated earlier buildings, the presence of which is suggested by geophysical survey. Volunteers of whatever experience welcome but membership of Maldon Archaeological and Historical Group is required. For more information, contact Pat Sheehy Mobile 07923 995464, email

Liss Archaeology: Stroud

09.08-01.09.19, Near Petersfield, NE Hampshire

A continuation of Stroud Big Dig (2016/2017), Liss Archaeology are continuing exploration of the area with the focus for 2019 being in fields just outside the village.  A series of geophysical surveys have taken place as well as desktop background research including Lidar and old aerial photographs.  In 2017 and 2018, test pits and fieldwalking revealed several areas of interest. 

2019 has larger scale excavations planned plus, if the farming calendar permits, fieldwalking.  Further geophysical surveys are also planned.

Training is available in all aspects of archaeology, all skills levels welcome. 

Volunteers from all walks of life are welcome to take part.  From 18 to 80’s, all abilities.  In addition to excavation, finds processing, sieving, soil analysis, recording, planning and drawing plus surveying take place to professional standards during the dig.  Local schools take part in on-site archaeology education, outreach education also available. Students are encouraged to experience community-based, volunteer archaeology with a friendly group of like-minded people. Taster days available.

Camping and accommodation readily available close-by.  Site is 1.5 miles from Petersfield mainline railway station.

Membership (£15.00 per annum, due 31.03, students half price) is required for insurance purposes.  Membership forms and dig booking forms can be found on our website,

Dig fees at Stroud are £6 per day (student’s half price), payable in advance; we are non-profit making covering costs only.  Tea and coffee provided at start of day and all breaks. 

Stroud Excavation

The Inland Waterways Association’s Waterway Recovery Group (WRG): Canal Restoration

31.08-07.09.19 and 07.09-14.09.19, Monmouthshire Canal

WRG is looking for volunteers to help restore Britain’s lost waterways this summer. Without the support of volunteers, these canal restoration projects cannot be completed and valuable history will be lost forever.

In 2019, WRG has 25 canal restoration projects, or Canal Camps, all around England and Wales that need support. Working outdoors, volunteers can find themselves carrying out various activities such as clearing vegetation and bush-whacking, or learning new skills such as bricklaying, stone walling, restoring locks, re-lining canals or creating towpaths.

Each Canal Camp is one week-long, costs £70 and includes three meals a day plus endless tea and cake. Basic accommodation is provided, usually in a village hall or scout hut. Volunteers will need to provide their own camp bed or sleeping mat. All transfers to and from the accommodation to the work site are included but volunteers will need to make their own way to the Canal Camp. If travelling by public transport, volunteers can be collected from the nearest railway station.

The aim of the Canal Camp programme is to support the admirable work of local canal restoration societies. The largest projects that need support in 2019 are based on the Grantham Canal in Nottinghamshire, the Cotswold Canals and the Wey & Arun Canal in Surrey and West Sussex.

If you’re interested in volunteering on a Canal Camp, visit the website to see a full list of all 2019 dates and locations. You can also email us at or call 01494 783 453 to order a new brochure. Camps are open to anyone aged 18 and above and no experience is necessary. All personal protection equipment is supplied. You just need a pair of steel toe cap boots.

Waterway Recovery Group is part of Inland Waterways Association, a national charity dedicated to supporting and restoring the country’s canals and rivers. Over the past 70 years,WRG volunteers have managed to restore hundreds of miles of canals. Most of Britain’s canals were built over 200 years ago to help move goods around the country, but many fell into disrepair after the railways were built. Today, the canals are busier than ever providing a place to enjoy waterways by foot, bike or boat.

Cameron Archaeology: Keith Tower House/Episcopalian Meeting House

31.08-08.09.19, Aden Caravan and Camping,  Station Road, Peterhead,  Aberdeenshire
AB42 5FQ

This T-shaped structure has been dismissed as a farmstead but excavation revealed that it is a medieval tower house, the lost fortalice of the Keith family. Limited further excavation will be taking place before the structure is stabilised to allow people to visit without further damage.

Open Day 7 Sept

Experienced and inexperienced volunteers welcome. Camping and glamping in the park

For more details contact Ali Funded by HES, HLF, Aberdeenshire Council Archaeology Service and The Friends of Aden.

Bainbridge Archaeological Training Excavation 2019

Week 1: 09-13.09.19; Week 2: 16-20.09.19, Bainbridge, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire

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. 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’. For further information, including costs and booking details please click on this link:

Bainbridge Sheep

North East Hants Historical & Archaeological Society

August: Investigation into the extent of the water feature at Exton 

11, 18 & 23-26 August, Exton

Investigation into the extent of the water feature at Exton caused by the Causeway and the Ledge we have been excavating indicates it would have extended some 700m upstream and covered much of modern Exton. The position of the Principal E - W Grid Line running on the Causeway has been determined from the LIDAR and nearby features, and will be excavated over the August Bank Holiday.

Sunday 11 August - 1030am, Continue Exton. Investigations: measure height of the Ledge at various places & what happens where it runs onto the Causeway, height of Causeway, Backfilling.

Sunday 18 August - 1030am Set-up Bank Holiday excavation

Friday 23 - Mon 26 August, 930am, Excavation of the Principal E - W Grid Line on the remains
the Causeway at Exton. The Grid showing on LIDAR suggest a Roman settlement. A Minor Grid Line at the crossing of a Roman Road was completed in May, was composed of Rammed Chalk with much Roman pottery and built up 60cms above the natural chalk. The Principal E - W Grid Line is more pronounced on the LIDAR so likely to be of greater construction. Parking at site.

Details and booking form
Project webpage

September 2019 - Investigation of possible Dark Age features, Chawton, Roman Road, Winchester

Weekends in September, in Chawton - Roman Road Winchester - London. Investigation of possible Dark Age features blocking 2 Roman lanes. Starting Sat 31 August but depending on the harvest.

Details and booking form

Caesar's Camp outer defences have gone into Army land generally closed to the public, but weekends are advertised when open. At present none are open.

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Facebook  - NEHHAS - Field Archaeology Branch

Twitter - RomanRoadArchaeology@NEHASFAB

Richard Whaley 01252 548115 Site Mobile 07599 875708, email,,

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