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Dig York! Dig Nottingham! We Dig it

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Looking to gain more fieldwork experience this summer? York Archaeology will be holding training excavations at two very exciting sites in York and Nottingham.

We Dig York! (20th June – 12th August)

Located a stone’s throw from York’s most complete medieval gatehouse, we will be digging in the shadow of the city’s famous Bar Walls to investigate a site that can hopefully tell us about working class life in the Victorian Age, the 1644 Siege of York and how the site was used from the medieval period through to the area’s prehistoric origins. There is also the small matter of a lost medieval church!

We Dig Nottingham!  (22nd August – 23rd September)

Dating back to the 1580s, Wollaton Hall is a stunning stately home set in 500 acres of parkland and gardens. Over the centuries, the site has been frequently altered to fit the needs of successive owners, and the focus of the 2022 season will be the further exploration of a series of 18th century structures associated with a former orangery and other garden structures. There won’t be many opportunities to excavate in such a beautiful location!

Both projects are equally suitable for beginners and more experienced individuals and will offer comprehensive training in the key skills of archaeological excavation and recording. In addition, daily sessions will offer introductions to specialisms such as pottery dating, building recording, conservation, archaeobotany and stratigraphic analysis.

We Dig has been approved by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists as delivering high quality training which meets CIfA criteria and is mapped to appropriate National Occupational Standards.

  • One week – £300

  • Two weeks – £525

Want to know more? All the info regarding both sites can be found at

Any questions? Contact us at

What to Expect

Over the course of a week with the staff of York Archaeology, trainees will learn the basics needed to work on a full-scale archaeological excavation. The core skills to be covered include:

  • Single context excavation – you will learn how to recognise, reveal and excavate individual layers or features that have laid hidden for centuries.

  • Use of a variety of tools – our work can range from delicate trowelling to more energetic work with a mattock and shovel.

  • Photography – the important process of creating a visual record of your archaeological context.

  • Single context recording – you will learn how to accurately the record the location, form and dimensions of your feature.

  • Finds identification – you will uncover a wide range of material and we will show how to spot, identify and excavate archaeological artefacts.

  • Finds processing – each find has to be lovingly cleaned, sorted and catalogued so that we can learn as much about them as possible.

Alongside these key skills, there will also be introductions to various archaeological specialisms, including archaeobotany, conservation, pottery dating, small finds identification and stratigraphy.

Plus, if there are any other areas of archaeology you’d like to know more about, our knowledgeable team can point you in the right direction.

Sample Schedule

Each day is broken into four sessions and laid out like this:

Session 1: 9.30am – 10.30am
Tea Break (15 mins)
Session 2: 10.45am – 12.30pm
Lunch break (45 mins)
Session 3: 13.15pm – 15.00pm
Tea break (15 mins)
Session 4: 15.15pm – 17.00pm

Each day will start with trainee check in, a safety talk and a brief explanation of what has been found so far and the plan for the coming day. The excavation will follow a schedule of workshops and tutorials. In some cases, such as poor weather, it may be necessary to make changes to this.

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