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Archaeology Field School

Archaeology Field School

2022 Excavation Dates: 26th June – 22nd July

Bookings are currently suspended.

Booking is currently suspended as we are full in all weeks at present. Anyone wanting to be added to the reserve list for any weeks please use the email below.Some space may free up in the next week or so.

We are still updating things so any questions that are not covered here please contact us via email.

Email graemeyoung@bamburghresearchproject.co.uk

Bamburgh Castle is a multi-phase site that offers students the opportunity to gain experience of working with some of the most exceptional archaeological material currently being excavated in the north of England.

We offer quality training in archaeological fieldwork with an emphasis on practical hands-on excavation and post-excavation activities. Our training is open to people of all skill-levels and abilities, with particular interests accommodated where possible. We recommend students attend for at least two weeks to get a well-rounded experience of the training on offer.

Where will I be digging?
This season we are excavating and surveying at St Oswald’s Gate and in the area of the medieval outworks that still stand beyond it. This is the only area of the castle that remains significantly a medieval ruin!  We know from documentary evidence that a well and former medieval tower were present as part of these outworks and we uncovered the outline of the tower in 2021. We hope to uncover more of this tower in 2022 and find the location of the lost well. You can find out more about the site, what we uncovered in 2021 and our plans for 2022 here:

End of season Directors Round-up: Part 1

End of season Directors Round-up: Part 2

Who will be teaching me?
Professional field archaeologists and post-graduate students form the core of our training staff. The BRP’s on-site Director guides the excavation on a daily basis and ensures that the research agenda’s primary aims and objectives, set at the beginning of the season, are fulfilled. The director is supported by a Trench Supervisor and Post-ex Supervisor who are responsible for the hands-on tuition students receive each day. Our core teaching staff is supported by Assistant Supervisors who will help disseminate the project’s discoveries as they happen.

What will I be learning?
Students are given the option of booking our combined Excavation and Post-Excavation programme or our Post Excavation only programme. Students working in the trench will receive tuition in excavation techniques, such as trowelling delicate contexts, defining and excavating cut features and sampling deposits. As you excavate we will also teach you the fundamentals of recording what you find. This can include:

  • undertaking archaeological photography
  • preparing and undertaking scale drawings of plans and sections
  • survey techniques, such as setting out the site grid and measuring surface levels using a dumpy level. A total station will also be in operation at certain times throughout the season.
  • contribution towards the various paper records that allow archaeologists to describe what they see and combine all the data they gather into one coherent record.

All those excavating will also be taught how to record archaeological finds as they are unearthed in the trench and will have the chance to undertake the post-excavation activities outlined below.

Our post-excavation tuition covers a variety of areas, as we have an active on-site finds department and a environmental processing area. Participants will have the opportunity to undertake some (if not all) of the followinf:

  • undertake environmental sampling techniques
  • wet-sieving and sorting residues and flots (search for ‘environmental’ on our blog to see lots of info about this element of the project)
  • clean and sort bulk materials such as animal bone and small finds, such as metalwork and worked bone.
  • prep finds for long-term storage
  • undertake cataloguing, including database and archive management
  • together this will aid in developing your identification and assessment techniques for a variety of material assemblages

How do I get involved and apply?

  1. Read the Booking Details page and the FAQ page
  2. Decide if you will be staying at the Campsite or not
  3. Fill out the Application Form
  4. You will then receive an email from the BRP staff
  5. Pay the deposit to secure your place
  6. Book your accommodation

Any remaining balance needs to be paid by August 22nd