Lincoln Archaeological Field School

The Lincoln Archaeological Field School is open to all UK or overseas students taking archaeology, anthropology or related degree programmes and who want accredited field work experience. The six week Field School provides training and tuition in archaeological methods and techniques, including: aspects of project management, excavation techniques, planning, recording, photography, surveying, geophysics and finds & environmental processing. There are also opportunities to take part in public archaeology activities. The field school is staffed by academic and professional archaeologists.

The majority of training is practical and will take place on site; this will be complimented by a number of workshops both on site and in the University's Archaeology Lab. Assessment is through the compilation of a reflective 'field work journal/diary'.

The primary research objective of the Lincoln Archaeological Field School is the investigation of the hinterland (Territorium) of the Roman city of Lincoln (Lindum Colonia) and its medieval succesors. Excavation is seasonally based and was previously focused on the site of a Roman villa and bath-house complex a few miles north of the city. Since 2010 the excavation focus has been on a significant Roman and medieval roadside settlement in the northern suburbs of Lincoln. The geophysical survey activity takes place at a further location within the Lincoln area.

The Field School provides training and tuition for up to 14 students each year. Accommodation for students can also be provided at the University's Halls of Residence.

The Lincoln Archaeological Field School is open to all UK or overseas students taking archaeology or related degree programmes and who want accredited field work experience. During 2012 the Field School will run from Monday 18 June to Friday 27 July.

The Field School takes place over a period of six weeks and is primarily excavation-based; there will also be opportunities for students to participate in an off-site geophysical survey and lab-based processing of artefacts and environmental material. Tuition will be a mix of formal lectures and workshops supported by on-site training in practical skills. Students are further supported with study materials delivered through our Virtual Learning Environment.

The Field School will take up to 14 external students during 2012; joined by the University's own undergraduate and postgraduate students. In addition a number of the University's Heritage and Education Studies students will be present to support and deliver a range of public, schools and community activities; a small number of volunteers will also participate.

During the 2012 season Field School students will be given formal tuition in the following activities:

  • Archaeological project management including health and safety
  • Geophysical site survey techniques
  • Excavation strategy and decision making
  • Stratigraphic (single-context) recording systems
  • Completing archaeological context descriptions
  • Plan and section drawing
  • Surveying and levelling (including DGPS survey)
  • Archaeological photography
  • Processing and recording archaeological artefacts, including basic conservation methods
  • Processing environmental archaeological samples, including flotation sieving
  • Introduction to the post-excavation process

Students who successfully fulfil the attendance requirement and complete the required assessment tasks can accumulate academic credit at the following level: 20 UK CATS credits, equivalent to 10 ECTS credits or 5 US credits.

The required assessment task includes the compilation of an 'Excavation Field Journal' this will form a daily account of training delivered and skills attained, augmented with a critically reflective commentary. Students will be given formative feedback on the progress of their Field Journal during the course of the excavation.

Accommodation is optionally available in the University's student halls of residence at an additional cost of approximately £725 for 41 nights on a bed and breakfast basis. The halls of residence provide individual bedrooms with a shared communal space providing limited cooking facilities; the University refectory will be open for part of the summer period. The campus has full wifi connectivity to which all enrolled students have access. The University is located in the uphill district of Lincoln with a number of restaurants, food outlets and other shops within a few minutes walk. Lunch will be provided each working day on site.
Volunteers are also very welcome to join the excavation for any period of one or more weeks between the weeks commencing Monday 25 June through to Monday 9 July. All volunteers will receive basic tuition in excavation and recording methods, and lunch. Cost for volunteers is £160 per week. (Please note that this fee includes basic on-site tuition but no accommodation and no academic credits). During 2012 the Field School will have places for a maximum of 12 volunteers per week.
The week commencing 16 July has been set aside to accommodate young people (16-18 years old) who would like to take part in an archaeological excavation prior to starting a university course in archaeology. All participants will receive and introduction to archaeological excavation and finds work, and basic tuition in excavation and recording methods, and lunch. Cost for participants is £100 per week. (Please note that this fee includes on-site tuition but no accommodation and no academic credits). During 2012 the Field School will have places for a maximum of 12 young people.

One of the principle research aims of the Lincoln Archaeological Field School is the investigation of the hinterland or Territorium of the Roman city of Lincoln. The Roman presence in the Lincoln area was first established when a legionary fortress was constructed by the IX Legion (Hispana) no later than AD68. The legions formally departed in AD78, moving north, but the site was rapidly converted to civilian use being designated a colonia around AD86. The resulting city was named Lindum Colonia, from which present day Lincoln derives its name. By the later third century Lincoln was elevated to the position of a provincial capital as the administrative centre of the newly created province of Britannia Secunda.

The important status of colonia as imperial cities was not only focused on the urban core but also extended for many miles across the adjacent hinterland. This hinterland was formally designated as the Territorium. The current project seeks to elaborate the extents, functions and organisation of this area. The project initially focused on an area several miles to the north-east of the city and the excavation of a rural villa site (Sudbrooke). From 2010 our attention has turned to an area much closer to the Roman city and the evidence for a small roadside settlement fronting onto Roman Ermine Street. This site lay in a key transitional zone between the urbanised extents of the Roman city proper and the more rural farmland that surrounded it. The site was abandoned in the later Roman period but then reoccupied in the early medieval phase when Lincoln expanded following the Norman Conquest. A range of medieval buildings and road surfaces associated with this phase of activity will also be investigated as these provide key information on the development of the city's early medieval suburbs. This site is conveniently located within the Bishop Grosseteste University campus.

Students wishing to join the Field School should in the first instance contact Craig Spence to obtain a joining/information pack which will include an application form. Completed application forms must be returned to the University no later than 4 May 2012 (late applications may be considered if places are available). Once accepted onto the Field School payment of fees (incorporating a non-returnable deposit) should be made immediately in order to secure your place. The student fee for the 2012 Field School (including all tuition, training and examination fees but not including accommodation) is £1,250.

Field School Enquiries should be made to:

Craig Spence BSc MA MIfA
Lincoln Archaeological Field School
Department of Culture and Creative Arts
Bishop Grosseteste University
Lincoln
LN1 3DY, UK
Email: craig.spence@bishopg.ac.uk

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