Skip to main content

Activities – University of Reading

Show access keys


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

We use Javascript to improve your experience on, but it looks like yours is turned off. Everything will still work, but it is even more beautiful with Javascript in action. Find out more about why and how to turn it back on here.
We also use cookies to improve your time on the site, for more information please see our cookie policy.

Back to top