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Activities – University of Reading

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Activities

What will I learn?

There's plenty to learn at the Field School. Here's just some of the skills and experience you'll come away with:

  • Knowledge of archaeological field techniques and site recording methods
  • The ability to distinguish between individual archaeological contexts prior to excavation
  • The ability to record archaeological contexts (in both written and drawn form)
  • Basic surveying skills
  • Environmental sampling
  • On-site handling and processing of artefacts
  • To follow instructions and work as part of a team
  • To develop an awareness of ability and to assess understanding and performance

Training sessions

  • Health and safety
  • Site etiquette
  • Introduction to the archaeology of the site
  • Care and use of archaeological equipment
  • Site recording
  • Finds recording
  • The use of the site database (IADB)
  • Site photography

Specialist talks

  • Environmental work
  • Pottery spot-dating
  • Small finds
  • Post-excavation techniques

Practical skills

  • Use a mattock, spade and shovel
  • Use a wheelbarrow
  • Use a trowel
  • Clean an area on site and define a context
  • Clean an area/context on site for a photograph
  • Sign out a context number
  • Fill in a context card
  • Set up for a plan and understand the grid
  • Plan a context
  • Draw a section and/or profile
  • Take a level and working out the reduced level
  • Sign out a small find number
  • Take the three-dimensional co-ordinates of a small find
  • Excavate and site process and finds
  • Excavate a context
  • Take a soil sample
  • Collect of other types of sample

In the finds hut

  • Wash general finds
  • Treat small finds with specialist care
  • Dry and sort finds
  • Mark pots
  • Make entries in the finds book
  • Bag finds
  • Identify finds.

In the environmental/science area

  • Fill in an environmental sample sheet
  • Float samples
  • Sort residues
  • Identify finds and their reintroduction back into the finds system

In the computer hut

  • Practice database entry and use an Integrated Archaeological Database

In the visitors' area

  • Give general site tours to visitors
  • Prepare Open Day displays and exhibitions
  • Work with visiting schools

Transferable skills

  • Positivity
  • Team-work
  • Communication skills
  • Punctuality and time-keeping
  • Consideration of others

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