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Archaeology Field School 2023

Archaeology Field School

2nd July – 22nd July 2023 (3 weeks) 

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

We have seen a lot of demand this season and are once again full up but please do email to be added to the waiting list if you are keen. We also will be running a week of post-excavation from September 10th so if you are interested in this please email to be added to the waiting list.

For booking details follow the link at the bottom of this page

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. Bookings start at one week but we recommend participants attend for at least two weeks to get a well-rounded experience of the training on offer.

Who will be teaching me?
Professional field archaeologists and post-graduate students form the core of our training staff. The BRP’s on-site Directors guide the excavation on a daily basis and ensure that the research agenda’s primary aims and objectives, set at the beginning of the season, are fulfilled. The directors are supported by a Trench Supervisor and Post-ex Supervisor who are responsible for the hands-on tuition participants 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?
Participants 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 participants excavate we will also teach them the fundamentals of recording what they 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 following:

  • 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 apply?

Details of the 2023 season and the link to the application form can be found on the Bookings Details page.