Fieldwork

The Poulton Project: Fieldwork

March-29-2015 – August-21-2015

The Poulton Project is a multi-period rural excavation 3 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 (indicative of a seasonal hunting camp) 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 currently offers students the opportunity to excavate well-preserved archaeology from a variety of periods. Currently, Iron Age roundhouses, Roman industrial structures, field boundaries, and the Medieval Chapel and graveyard are available in our field courses.

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Archaeology Live! 2015: Fieldwork

April-06-2015 – August-23-2015

In 2014, we found evidence of an ever changing landscape that began the 19th century as a busy and rather smelly semi-industrial yard, before being absorbed by All Saints church to become a burial ground in 1826. This quiet place of remembrance would receive the remains of parishioners old and young until 1860, when All Saints church hall was built. This building was used as a Sunday school, a mortuary chapel and even a boxing club, until its demolition in 2013. Pre-dating all of this, we began to discover elements of a much altered post-medieval rectory, wall footings that could once have been a row of medieval cottages and pits and deposits relating to the site's 12th century occupation. In 2015, we aim to look more closely at these features and to see what surprises are laying in wait beneath them. The dates for the 2015 season will follow the same format as last year, with three main sessions and a number of weekend courses. The 2015 dates are as follows: Spring session Monday April 6th - Friday April 17th 2015, Weekend course Saturday April 11th - Sunday April 12th 2015, Summer session Monday June 22nd - Friday September 11th 2015. Weekend course Saturday August 22nd- Sunday August 23rd 2015. An Autumn dig will be scheduled in 2015, most likely occurring in October. Please email us to express interest.

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The Colemore Project, North East Hampshire: Fieldwork

April-16-2015 – May-18-2015

Set amongst the rolling hills in the west of the South Downs National Park, 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 6 years of investigation by Liss Archaeology. During this time, approximately a third of the field has undergone geophysical survey revealing a fascinating buried landscape of past rural settlement. The April/May excavation Excavation will target a deep feature seen as a geophysical anomaly in the vicinity of the main building. Volunteers from all walks of life are welcome to take part. From 18 to 80's, all abilities. Full training offered. Cost £5 per day (students half price), limited camping available (no extra cost). Accomodation nearby. Facilities include Tree Bog compost toilets plus a ‘bring your own shower’ facility. Tea and coffee provided at start of day and all breaks. Transport from Petersfield and Portsmouth available most days. Supermarket runs.

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Thornton Abbey Medieval Hospital and Cemetery 2015: Fieldwork

May-28-2015 – July-26-2015

Since 2011 The University of Sheffield has been undertaking a long-term research programme on the abbey precinct. This not only aims to undertake a complete topographical and geophysical survey of the monastic enclosure, it also include targeted excavation of the identified medieval and post-dissolution features in order to gain a better understanding of the site's long history. During the 2015 season we will be continuing our excavation in the area identified last year as the location of the medieval monastic hospital of St James and its associated cemetery. Trenches will be located over the east end of the hospital chapel, the infirmary hall, as well as the cemetery area. Students attending the field school play a central role in continuing the geophysical and topographical survey of this area, as well as taking part in the excavation of the trenches. You will also have the opportunity to excavate in the cemetery and help process the human bones and other artefacts. All work is supervised by experienced staff from the University of Sheffield, volunteers get to take part in all the key activities. The field school fee is £195.00 per week. This includes supervision, course materials, all meals, camping space and pick up & drop off at the local train station (Thornton Abbey).

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Meillionydd excavations: Fieldwork

June-01-2015 – July-24-2015

For the past five years Bangor University's School of History, Welsh History and Archaeology has conducted excavations at the 'double ringwork' hilltop enclosure at Meillionydd, near Rhiw, on the Llyn peninsula in northwest Wales. Last year excavations in the entrance area of the Bronze/Iron Age settlement were completed. In 2015 we will be examining an area in the centre of the site which, according to the GPR interpretation, seems to be a very densely build area with various roundhouses. This will give us a chance to gain a better understanding of the complex stratigraphy on site. The excavation is run as an archaeological field school for archaeology students. The project is also open to a limited number of external volunteers, all of whom will be trained in archaeological excavation and field recording techniques alongside the students. Preference may be given to volunteers who do have some archaeological fieldwork experience, depending on supervision capacity of excavation staff. Welsh-speaking participants are also preferred.

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Newbarns, Dumfries and Galloway 2015: Fieldwork

June-08-2015 – August-01-2015

Annual excavation of prehistoric burial cairns, dating from the Neolithic to Iron Age with later settlement in the Anglo-Saxon and Medieval periods. Local camping sites available. Under 16's welcome with an adult. Cost on application and training by arrangement. Apply with CV.

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Bamburgh Research Project 2015: Fieldwork

June-08-2015 – August-01-2015

Bamburgh Research Project has been excavating at Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland, UK since 1996. The present castle is one of the most stunning locations in the UK, with an extensive archaeological legacy. The excavations are set within the castle walls in the West Ward, and we are excavating through 4 metres of stratified deposits that are the result of occupation on the site from as early as the Neolithic (and likely Mesolithic). The castle in its heyday was the principal Anglo Saxon palace and fortress of the Kings of Northumbria. Our major excavations take place in two trenches that are currently at c. 8th - 9th AD century and 9th to 10th AD century levels respectively. We have uncovered the remains of large and small buildings, workshops, pathways and evidence of large-scale industrial practices including high status metalworking and the use of a mortar mixer to construct stone buildings. We are uncovering the early defences and entrance to the palace site, which we now believe may have been dominated by a large arched gatehouse. The BRP also runs a summer field school at a concurrent excavation, the Bradford Kaims wetlands, nearby. The Bradford Kaims project has been running since 2010 and is a project run as part of Bamburgh Research Project, with collaborations from the local community and University of Stirling's palaeo-environmentalist Dr. Richard Tipping. The wetland itself is known as Newham bog, an ancient wetland that formed following the retreat of glaciation 12,000 years ago. Our investigations so far have revealed a promontory reaching out into the bog that has evidence of human activity around the edge of the marshy lake. We have uncovered two massive burnt mounds. These Neolithic/Bronze age features are fascinating and there are several theories about what function they served, from prehistoric saunas, to smoking meat and fish, and even brewing. In addition to the mounds there are further cut features including pits, and slab hearths or troughs, but the most fascinating discovery is the presence of an extensive timber platform preserved by the peat. Participants get to excavate on both sites, experiencing the very different styles of excavation and investigation that each site demands. If you wish to spend your time at just one of our sites, this is possible. Cost: £250 per week including camping.

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Plumpton, East Sussex: Fieldwork

June-20-2015 – August-01-2015

Ongoing research and training excavation at Plumpton Roman Villa. Various training opportunities ranging from one-day 'taster' courses, to other weekend dayschools (Surveying; Conservation; Drawing; Photography; and Environmental Sampling/Methods), and our well-established and very popular 5-day excavation training programmes. Volunteering opportunities are also available. Fees range from £40 to £190.

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The Lough Key Archaeological Project: Fieldwork

June-22-2015 – July-05-2015

The Lough Key Archaeological Project is an intensive field survey and excavation of one of the more important high status Gaelic lordship caputs in Ireland, that of the MacDermots of Moylurg. Students who participate in this program will utilize a variety of field survey techniques, including topographical and geophysical survey, as well as cutting edge aerial and satellite analysis. Test excavations are going to begin this summer. The project is developing an online digital repository for presentation and archiving. The surveys from 2012-14 have revealed an extremely complex and rich landscape with settlement features including a moated site (referenced in the Irish annals in the year 1225 as a market town), several ringforts, and, of course, the Rock of Lough Key, one of the most prominent castle-crannogs in the west of Ireland.

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Bridge Farm, Sussex: Fieldwork

June-26-2015 – August-08-2015

Excavation opportunity and/or Training Course at the recently discovered defended 1st-4th century. Romano-British settlement just north of Lewes. New ground opened for 3rd exciting season. Volunteer fees £25 for 7 days or £50 for season. 4 week introductory training course (including camping) at £440. General camping £50 per week.

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Roman Devon Field School 2015: Fieldwork

July-06-2015 – July-31-2015

This year at Ipplepen in South Devon we will continue to investigate in detail structures in the busiest area of the largest known Romano-British settlement in Devon. This season will focus on the Roman road and the associated late and post-Roman cemetery, revealed in 2011 and 2014, twice featured on the BBC Digging for Britain programme (series 2, 2011; Series 4, forthcoming). The significance of the site has been demonstrated through four seasons of geophysical survey, targeted excavation and an extraordinary wealth of material culture. In previous years students and members of the local community have also revealed an Iron Age Settlement phase along with evidence for earlier Neolithic activity. Run by The University of Exeter and supported by the Portable Antiquities Scheme, the British Museum and Devon County Council. Cost £200 per week. Accommodation and food is not included, but reduced rates at a local campsite have been arranged. No experience needed as full training is given. Must be over 18 (or over 16 if accompanied by a parent/guardian).

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Archaeology Live! Nottingham Castle: Fieldwork

July-27-2015 – August-14-2015

This summer, the Archaeology Live! training excavation will be breaking its first ground outside of York. It will be the fifteenth year of the training dig and we've chosen a suitably grand site. At Archaeology Live! we always focus on sites with a long history; sites that have seen wildly varying phases of activity and left us with a complex palimpsest of interweaving layers. There are few better examples of this then Nottingham Castle - a site that has evolved from a Norman fortress to an icon of Victorian idealism. There have been few dull moments in the history of this castle.

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Bexley Archaeological Group - Training Excavation 2015: Fieldwork

July-27-2015 – July-31-2015

The cost of the training dig is £100 which includes: Fieldwalking on the Thames Foreshore, Geophysics, Surveying, Site health and safety, Excavating, Finds processing, Site drawing, Archaeological illustration and Talks. The cost also includes one year subscription to our group (usually £14), insurance, and certificate. Minimum age is 16 (with parents consent). Sturdy boots are required. For further information or to book a place (limited to 12), please contact Pip Pulfer, Principal Field Officer.

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Piddington, Northamptonshire 2015: Fieldwork

August-01-2015 – August-31-2015

Excavation will continue for a 37th season at this late Iron Age settlement site and Romano-British Villa complex, by the Upper Nene Archaeological Society, directed by Roy & Liz Friendship-Taylor for the Upper Nene Archaeological Society. Some training available; varied fees; food and accommodation options. Award winning site museum. Details and application forms online.

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Moistown, Devon: Fieldwork

August-22-2015 – September-06-2015

Third season of excavation of a farmstead with possible high status medieval origins. Some buildings were still in use during the late 20th century but only earthworks now remain. All levels of experience welcome with a minimum age of 18. Basic training can be provided in all aspects of excavation. Costs £10 to cover insurance and become a member of ACE Archaeology Club. No accommodation provided but there are camp sites etc. locally in this beautiful part of Devon.

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Woking Palace 2015 Excavation: Fieldwork

September-09-2015 – September-25-2015

In September 2015 the Friends of Woking Palace and archaeologists from the Surrey County Archaeological Unit will be returning to Woking Palace for the final season of excavations as part of the Woking Palace and its Park Project, a 3-year Heritage Lottery Funded community-based project aiming to cast light on the development of Woking Palace and its surrounding 590 acre deer Park, from its earliest days right through to modern times, including its glorious Tudor heyday. Excavation days exclude Mondays and Tuesdays, and are FREE to attend. A special open day will be held on Sunday 27th September from 11am when guided tours of the excavations will run until 4pm. There are spaces available for both experienced and inexperienced volunteers working with our finds team or excavating. For more information and a booking form please contact Surrey County Council's Community Archaeology Team at education.scau@surreycc.gov.uk

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The Colemore Project, North East Hampshire (October): Fieldwork

October-01-2015 – October-18-2015

Set amongst the rolling hills in the west of the South Downs National Park, 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 6 years of investigation by Liss Archaeology. During this time, approximately a third of the field has undergone geophysical survey revealing a fascinating buried landscape of past rural settlement. The April/May excavation Excavation will target a deep feature seen as a geophysical anomaly in the vicinity of the main building. Volunteers from all walks of life are welcome to take part. From 18 to 80's, all abilities. Full training offered. Cost £5 per day (students half price), limited camping available (no extra cost). Accomodation nearby. Facilities include Tree Bog compost toilets plus a ‘bring your own shower’ facility. Tea and coffee provided at start of day and all breaks. Transport from Petersfield and Portsmouth available most days. Supermarket runs. Further excavation of a flint structure revealed by trial trenching last year, looking to be similar construction to the villa wall foundations, plus a huge quantity of unabraded, large pottery sherds.

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