UK - Oakington


The Oakington Project is a multidisciplinary research effort that focuses on life during the Early, Middle and Late Anglo-Saxon Periods (ca. CE 450-1,000).  The project has three research components that are designed to produce a nuanced understanding of Oakington: The relationships of its inhabitants with their environment, each other, death and their dead.  This is a public archaeology project and community involvement includes research questions focused around the engaging of local people in research activity as a central focus of our activities.  For 2014, we will continue our bioarchaeological research at the site’s cemetery (dated to the early Anglo-Saxon period).  We will also continue our excavation and careful study of domestic dwellings and ditches at the site.  This is a public archaeology project, design to engage the local community in the research at Oakington.  Students should expect that interaction between team members and the public will be enriching, complex and may, at times, be challenging. For the project website, click here.

United Kingdom Oakington Archaeology Field School - Institute for Field Research Field Schools UK - Oakington18-352014-06-20
Course Dates: Jun 16 - Jul 14 2014
Enrollment Status: CLOSED 
Total Cost: $ 4,550 
Course Type: Field Archaeology
Instructors: Dr. Duncan Sayer, Dr. Faye Simpson



Duncan Sayer

Dr. Duncan Sayer

Dr. Sayer ( is a Lecturer in Archaeology at the school of Forensic and Investigative Sciences, University of central Lancashire (UK).  For more information, click here.
Faye Simpson

Dr. Faye Simpson

Dr. Simpson ( is a Lecturer in Community Archaeology and Public History at the Manchester Metropolitan University (UK).  For more information, click here.


"As someone who is interested in Dark Age Europe, I knew that this would be the perfect field school for me. Before I applied I knew that I wanted to go into archaeology, but I was clueless as to what I wanted to concentrate on specifically. Learning in Oakington put me in the mindset of an archaeologist for the first time; being surrounded by likeminded people, and having the opportunity to excavate and learn from human remains first hand was truly a life changing experience for me. It has been the basis of my motivation to continue with my education, and pursue a career in archaeology.  One of my favorite aspects of the program was its involvement with the public. The residents of the village were incredibly enthusiastic, supportive, and eager to get involved. Answering their questions kept us on our toes, and instructing someone else in what I myself had just been taught was an excellent way of solidifying what had just learned. Working with the people of the town was truly a pleasure, as it was working alongside the British and American archaeologists. I will certainly be keeping up with Oakington archaeology."

-Mike Murray, University of Massachusetts (2012)

"The Oakington field school is an excellent introduction for both inexperienced and experienced archaeology students to British archaeology, public archaeology and the archaeology of death. I was an American bioarchaeology student seeking to expand upon my archaeology experience within a cemetery environment and found exactly what I was seeking. During my time at Oakington I gained experience locating, excavating and documenting features as well as excavating human skeletal remains. I had the opportunity to survey using a total station, clean artifacts and remains on site and learn the importance of interacting with the public. Ultimately I emerged from Oakington feeling confident in my ability to be a practicing archaeologist. While the days are long and the work is challenging there is a lot of fun to be had. Cambridge is just a short bus ride away which provides access to shopping, good food and other tourist activities. The local pub is an excellent hot spot to grab food and a drink after a hard day’s work, and the best part is it’s within walking distance of the site. If you want to understand what archaeology is about or further gain archaeology experience I highly recommend attending this field school."

 -Jeffrey Lynch, San Francisco State University (2012)

"I've been involved with the Oakington excavation for the past two years as both a perspective student looking to gain an insight of archaeology, and a student studying for my degree. The Oakington project is perfect for both.  This project offers the opportunity to have a hands on experience of most aspects of archaeology but also the ideal place to make friends; the team at Oakington creates a family-like group. During my time on this project I have had the opportunity to help a team excavate a juvenile skeleton, an adult skeleton, survey and excavate countless ditches with a range in complexity.  The amount of knowledge of archaeology and differing techniques has given me an advantage for my studying. I would recommend the Oakington project to anyone who is unsure whether they want to pursue archaeology and anyone who wants to gain some experience in a commercial style excavation." 

-Dan McArthur, University of Central Lancashire (2012)




Student Fees

Early Enrollment Begins November 15 - Full payment must be received by April 1  
(Full Payment = Deposit + Tuition)
 Payment by Cashier or Personal Check Payment by Credit Card/Debit Card
Deposit:500 USD Deposit: 510 USD 
Tuition: 4,050 USD Tuition: 4,140 USD 

Late Enrollment Begins April 2 - Full payment must be received 10 days prior to course start date
(Full Payment = Deposit + Tuition)
 Payment by Cashier or Personal Check Payment by Credit Card/Debit Card
Deposit:500 USD Deposit: 510 USD 
Tuition: 4,150 USD Tuition: 4,240 USD 


Students will camp 50 yards from site in their own tents. 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 park that operates as 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 installed a washing machine for our sole use. We have access to the public showers. 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.  

MEALS:  All meals will be communal and will serve local cuisine.  This field school can cater for vegetarians.  Please consult field school director for the possibility of accommodating any other type of diets.