This is a 20 credit module designed to introduce first-year students to all aspects of assessing, collecting and analysing primary excavation data and to provide hands-on experience of excavation and post-excavation techniques.
For many people excavation is synonymous with archaeology. Excavation is certainly one of the defining methods of the discipline, a unique way by which we recover material evidence about the past, which can then be used alongside other data.
So although we know that excavation is just one part of archaeology as a whole, the excavation element of the degree is something to be looked forward to (occasionally with trepidation) and enjoyed, and certainly something that students look back on fondly at the end of their degree course, and sometimes for the rest of their lives. It is a unique opportunity to be part of a really exciting phase of a research project.
All the excavations which we involve in field school have a strong research element. It would be wrong to excavate for the sake of it and so you will be involved in a project which will make a real contribution to the discipline, to our understanding about the past, and to the public understanding of the past. It therefore encapsulates most of the key themes that run throughout the degree in a practical and unique experience. For most of us excavation is a voyage of discovery, finding new evidence, trying new techniques and often discovering new things about the past - and sometimes about ourselves.
By the end of this module and its assessment, students should be able to:
The field school is a fantastic opportunity that every student loves, and it is term time