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Online course

Archaeology: from Dig to Lab and Beyond

Get an introduction to studying archaeology, exploring exciting discoveries in the Vale of Pewsey, near to Stonehenge and Avebury.

Archaeology: from Dig to Lab and Beyond

Chart the progress of an archaeological excavation from dig to lab and beyond.

We’ll show you around our field school at the Vale of Pewsey, a relatively untouched site compared to its famous neighbour, Stonehenge.

An excavation is more than just digging with a trowel. You’ll investigate how and where to dig, collect, record and store precious finds and take a closer look at what you can learn from a discovery once you’ve found it.

One of the most intriguing finds of all is a burial site and you’ll examine the archaeological methods employed in the study of the dead. How can you recreate the life, health and occupation of an individual just from their skeletal remains?

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What topics will you cover?

Week 1:

  • The transferable skills needed to be an archaeologist
  • Introduction to the Neolithic period
  • Planning an excavation
  • How does a dig work?
  • Storing, handling, recording and transporting artefacts

Week 2:

  • Introduction to the medieval period
  • Human bone analysis
  • Archaeological science: what can isotopes in bone tell us?
  • Museums: the ethics of storage and display

When would you like to start?

Who is the course for?

No prior experience of archaeology is needed. This course is designed for anyone interested in studying an archaeology degree at university. However, anyone with an enthusiastic interest in archaeology is very welcome to join us too.

Who will you learn with?

Duncan Garrow

Duncan Garrow teaches and researches later European prehistory (with a particular focus on Britain) and archaeological theory at the University of Reading.

Jim Leary

Jim is the Director of the Reading Archaeology Field School, which is based in the Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire. His recent book is 'The Remembered Land. Surviving sea-level rise after the last Ice Age'.

Mary Lewis

I am a human osteologist (bone specilalist) specilising in the recognition of disease in children

Amanda Clarke

I am a field archaeologist who has worked on excavations of all periods, all over the world. I specialise in the teaching of archaeological field techniques, and organising large excavation projects.

Who developed the course?

The University of Reading has a reputation for excellence in teaching, research and enterprise.

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  • Access to this course for 4 weeks
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes

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  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
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