East Anglia is among the richest archaeology areas in the UK, noteworthy for its Anglo-Saxon remains. The fieldschool focuses on the site of Oakington (Cambridgeshire) and explores a fifth and sixth century cemetery first found in 1926. From three earlier seasons we have found 110 inhumation graves that include males with weapons, females with full costumes, two horses, and one cow. The aim of the project is to systematically excavate the extent of the surviving cemetery to investigate life on the edge of the Cambrideshire Fen. The project includes a public outreach component in the local village.
Dr Duncan Sayer (firstname.lastname@example.org) is lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Central Lancashire. He is author of Ethics and Burial Archaeology, and editor of Mortuary Practices and Social identity in the Middle Ages. He has dug extensively in the UK and further afield and has excavated an number of notable cemetery sites.
Dr. Faye Simpson (email@example.com), is lecturer in Archaeology and History at the Manchester Metropolitan University. She is a public archaeologist and has run award winning outreach programmers, she is author of The Values of Community Archaeology: A Comparative Assessment between the UK and USA.
Tuition & Program Fee:
$3,600 Total Field School Costs: $4,100
All fees are payable to the Institute for Field Research. Eight semester credit units are provided through Connecticut College. Program fee includes registration, accommodations, program activities, meals on workdays, and health insurance.
Airfare, weekend meals, and optional excursions are additional.
Please inquire about Financial Aid at your home institution. For details about the financial aid application process, please visit the Financial Aid section of this web site.
How much to budget depends on your travel, entertainment and souvenir choices. It is always best to overestimate your spending. We recommend that you budget accordingly to cover optional sightseeing, laundry, internet cafes, emergencies, etc.
Expenses NOT Covered:
-Airfare to/from the pre-designated meeting place for the field school.
-Food on weekends when away from the site.
-Sightseeing outside formal field school excursions as outlined on the syllabus.
Students, supervisors and at least one director camp 50 yards from site in their own tents. Students are responsible for keeping the campsite tidy and a daily rota of litter pickers maintain the appearance of the camp. A single, large marquee at the center of the site is used as a communal dinning location, public work/relax place, and provides shelter during rainy days. There are site buildings in the car part that operate s a lab, office, tool store and finds processing area.
The project is very fortunate to have access to the Parish recreation building. This includes a fully equipped kitchen, oven, sink and dishwasher. The parish also installed a washing machine for our sole use. We have access to the sports team showers; one block of communal showers is for men, one for women. Students on the project are organized into daily routines – cooking, cleaning (rec building), tidying (campsite and grounds) lunch, and washing up. This is strictly maintained and participation is considered part of the assessment process.
Please let us know when you apply for this program if you have special dietary needs, as well as any medical or physical conditions. We will advise you accordingly. The project is used to catering for vegetarians, those with gluten intolerance etc.
You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements. There will be three alternative meeting points on June 17. Students flying into Stansted airport (STN) will be met at the Costa Coffee in international arrivals by 2:00pm. Students arriving by train will be met at the Cambridge train station on the same day at 4:00pm. If you prefer to make your own way to Oakington must get to the site and our project headquarters – at the Parish recreation building. Please get to that meeting point by 5:00pm of that same day.
A passport with at least six months of validity remaining is required. There are no visa requirements for US citizens visiting the UK. You will be required to fill in a UK landing card upon arrival.
For specific information regarding travel health issues pertinent to England, please read the Centers for Disease Control Website. Click here to be directed to the CDC website.
I have spent the previous two seasons excavating at Oakington and have thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I feel this project has helped me to grow as an archaeologist as it encompasses so many different aspects of the discipline. Being able to excavate skeletons as an undergraduate student provides amazing experience, which is unavailable at many other sites. In addition, there are opportunities to get involved with the finds processing and also a settlement excavation in a local garden; so there really is something for everyone! Furthermore, this is a community project and the village itself has been very supportive. There are always opportunities to speak to new people and share what we have learnt with people who are interested in the past. The open day provides a great forum for tours of the site and discussions to take place. We have many volunteers throughout the project so it’s a great way to learn and pass on your own knowledge. Socially, this excavation is fantastic. We work as a team whilst excavating, and we spend our spare time as a team. In the evenings there is always time to relax with everyone else and get to know each other better. There is also a local pub, where people go to enjoy a drink and some good food. The village itself is small, but there are regular buses running to Cambridge which is a fun place to explore on your day off as there is always a lot to do. This is a unique project to be a part of and I would recommend it to anyone interested in archaeology! I can’t wait to see what the future excavations at Oakington holds.
Victoria Le-quelenec, 2012 (UCLan)
The site is a brilliant introduction to British archaeology and to excavation practices as a whole. The local residents of Oakington are very welcoming and interested in the project to the point where they're always interested in asking you questions about what you've discovered. The students who participate on the excavation are friendly and welcoming, some of whom have either visited the site previously as part of their studies or are completely new to the site. The village of Oakington, whilst small, is only a short bus ride away from Cambridge where you can visit on your days off and has lots of opportunities to go shopping and entertainment (we usually head to the cinema!) however once every week we do head down to the local pub for drinks and a pub lunch so you'll definitely get to know everyone on site! As for the actual process of excavation, the site ensures that you become well versed in not only excavation techniques but the planning process, surveying, finds analysis and also community engagement. In addition to these skills you gain, there's a lot of variety on the site in terms of what is being excavated, from the possible settlement site located near the church in one of the local residents' gardens to the Saxon cemetery itself. All in all, the site is a fantastic one to be working on and am looking forward to further years of discovering what else will come from it!
James Hodgson, 2012 (UCLan undergraduate)