4 April—25 April 2022

Archaeology field school: online and on-site

An ‘online and on site’ archaeology field school that explains the whole archaeological process – from where to dig to what happens after the excavation ends.

This field school includes three online evening sessions and a full day excavating at a Roman site near Wickwar, South Gloucestershire with local archaeology company Archeoscan. All sessions are suitable for complete beginners to those who have studied archaeology before but are keen to find out more. They are open to everyone aged 16 and over.

Course programme:

Monday 4 April, 7.30pm – 9pm
Online Zoom session: Explore the skills, techniques and theories involved in archaeological fieldwork.

Monday 11 April, 7.30pm – 9pm
Online Zoom session: Find out about the amazing discoveries and research already undertaken on site before learning about the processes involved in recording and reporting archaeological treasure. There will also be a chance to find out about the work of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Sunday 24 April, 10am – 4pm
On site: Get hands on and help excavate a series of trial trenches across the site at Wickwar. Supervisors will be on hand to show you the basic techniques and help you throughout.

Monday 25 April, 7.30pm – 9pm
Online Zoom session: Discover what happens to objects and information once excavations are over.

Online lectures are delivered by archaeologists from Bristol Museum & Art Gallery and the Portable Antiquities Scheme. A recording will be made available for those not able to attend these evenings. A resource pack with further information will also be provided.

Speaker information

Gail Boyle FMA FSA is Senior Curator for Archaeology & World Cultures for Bristol Museums and has been a successful museum archaeologist for over 35 years. She sits on several UK heritage and museum related bodies, including the DCMS Treasure Valuation Committee and the Portable Antiquities Advisory Group.

Kurt Adams is the Gloucestershire and Avon Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme. He has identified and recorded thousands of important archaeological items, including many finds that qualify as Treasure. Some of these finds have led to the discovery of important archaeological sites, which Kurt has investigated through fieldwork.

Kate Iles is the Curator for Archaeology & World Cultures for Bristol Museums. She helps curate a large, multi-period archaeology collection and directs the Archaeology study day field school programme. Kate is also a Young Archaeologists’ Club leader for the Bristol and Bath branch and the Project Officer for Bristol & Avon Archaeological Society. Kate, Gail and Kurt will deliver the online elements of this field school.

Tony Roberts is an Associate of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and the Director of Archeoscan, a company providing opportunities for community involvement in archaeology. Over the years Tony has worked with Historic England, local councils and museums, schools, and local interest groups on a wide range of archaeological excavations and geophysical surveys. Tony and the Archeoscan team will lead the excavation element of this field school.

How to take part

Details of how to join each Zoom session will be sent to you along with a reminder about your booking in the week leading up to the course. You will also receive a confirmation email once you have registered.

Visit the Zoom website for guidance on joining meetings. Please allow extra time before the talks begins to make sure everything is working correctly.

Details about the site and what you will need to bring will also be sent to you nearer the time. Participants will need to be able to make their own way to Wickwar, South Gloucestershire.

Archaeology gift pack

Add an archaeological gift pack to your booking for just £15 and receive a tailor made dig kit complete with trowel to get you started on your archaeological adventure. You will receive this pack on the dig day.

Additional information

About the site

A Roman coin hoard was discovered by local metal detectorists in a field near Wickwar in 2021. This find was reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, who excavated the findspot and discovered a further two coin hoards and their pottery containers. All three hoards are protected under the 1996 Treasure Act, and have been sent to the British Museum, where they are currently being cleaned and catalogued.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme then arranged for Archeoscan to carry out a geophysical survey of the area surrounding the discovery. The results revealed potential structures buried beneath the surface. To investigate further, Archeoscan are planning an excavation for 2022.

Participants on the online and onsite field school will help with this excavation and dig a series of trial trenches. This will hopefully provide more information about the coin hoards and the nature of this exciting, new site.

On-site access

Parking is available in a neighbouring field. Directions will be provided nearer the time.

This is a rural site so facilities are limited. Toilet facilities are provided but there is no running water.

Archaeology is a physical activity but every measure possible will be taken to ensure that everyone can join in. If you have specific access requirements, please let us know in advance and we will do our best to support you.

COVID Secure

The safety of our customers is paramount and we’ve put extra measures in place for the excavation element of this field school to make it COVID secure.

All equipment will be thoroughly cleaned prior to the field school and will not be shared when onsite. Hand sanitizer will be provided.

If participants experience Covid symptoms or have been asked to self-isolate prior to the date of the excavation, they will be asked not to attend the excavation element of the field school. A refund for the excavation session or an alternative dig date with Archeoscan will be issued.

These measures will be re-evaluated as new government guidance is issued and new measures added as necessary.

Wet weather

All excavations are subject to the weather and farming conditions and the dig day may need to be cancelled at short notice if conditions are deemed unsafe. If this happens, you will be notified as soon as possible and a refund for the excavation session or an alternative dig date will be issued.

Participants Charter

Full details of the site will be issued by Archeoscan in a Participants Charter nearer to the date of the excavation. This will contain full details on what to bring, where to go and what to expect. You will also receive a full health and safety briefing on site.

About this programme

The archaeology study sessions programme and field schools are directed by Kate Iles, curator of archaeology. Profits from the field school help support the work of Bristol Museums. For more information or to join our mailing list please contact [email protected].