The Field School at Silchester

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The University of Reading has run a Field School for undergraduate students since 1997. Two years ago saw the field school return to Silchester, offering students the opportunity to experience up to four weeks of practical archaeology in the field. The field school offers hands-on experience introducing the techniques of an excavation, from recognising archaeological contexts and features on the site through to cleaning, excavating and recording them. Students will gain direct experience in all aspects of the excavation, from recognising ancient artefacts to learning how to read the wider landscape. As well as technical expertise, fieldwork helps to develop transferable skills including observation and understanding, problem solving, team work and communication skills.

Here’s what the students got up to at the bathhouse in 2018

For the past two years students have had the option to chose one of two Field Schools as part of their undergraduate course. The Silchester bathhouse excavation has been followed each summer by a dig at Dunyvaig castle on Islay. Here director Professor Steve Mithen introduces the project and we see what the students are digging

So what do you learn at the Field school? This slide show illustrates all the different elements that are brought together as part of the field experience

Prior to the returning to Silchester, the Field School was located at the Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire between 2015-17. Here’s a summary of what the students found during that time

To learn more about the Field School, applying to study, open days and more information about Archaeology at Reading you can visit the department website page here. Here’s some of our students explaining why they chose to study at Reading