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Archaeology Digs in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Numerous archaeology digs, field schools and other excavations are conducted in England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Field schools listed below with dates older than the current year may indicate an ongoing project that has not yet established dates for this season.

Achill (Ireland)
April-August 2014 (several courses). Achill Archaeological Field School. Located in County Mayo, Achill Island is also the western most point in Ireland and Europe and is widely known for its beauty, majestic cliffs and mountains. Achill Island, Achill Beg island and the Corraun peninsula have a rich archaeological heritage that spans the entire spectrum of Irish history from the remote Neolithic to the nineteenth century.

Bamburgh Castle (Northumbria)
June 2-July 27, 2014. Bamburgh Research Project. Ongoing excavations (since 1996) in and around the grounds of Bamburgh Castle, a site occupied continuously for 2000 years.

The Big Dig (Dorset)
July 7-25, 2014. Bournemouth University. "The big dig" is a course offered as part of the International Summer School Programme 2014 organised by Bournemouth University (BU), UK's number one new University in the Guardian University Guide for 2009 and 2010. Participants of this course will among other things, take part in a major field work, investigating the later prehistoric and Roman period in South Western Britain, with a special focus on settlements, burial grounds and religious sites. They will also undertake a cultural programme which will give them the opportunity to travel and learn about British culture.

Blackfriary Community (Ireland)
June 22-July 26, 2014. Institute for Field Research (UCLA). The Black Friary community archaeology project is a unique, hands-on opportunity for students to excavate the buried remains of a 13th century Dominican friary in the town of Trim, County Meath, Ireland.

Bradford Kairns Project (Northumberland)
June 4-July 29, 2012. Bamburgh Research Project. Preliminary survey and excavation at an extensive wetland area, 40 km south of the Scottish border in north Northumberland. Following on from two seasons of very promising trial trenching, our work at the ancient wetland of Newham bog at Bradford Kaims in Northumberland will expand significantly this year as we have recently been awarded funding from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund to support a pilot study of the area, and involve local volunteers and schools throughout 2011-2012.

Dorchester (England)
TBD 2014. School of Archaeology, University of Oxford. This upcoming season the project will continue in the Village Allotments, led by Paul Booth. We will be pursuing the story of Late Roman life within the town walls and unravelling the complex of ditches and pits that likely date from that period.

Durotiges Project
June 16-July 11, 2014. Bournemouth University. The Durotriges Project is an archaeological investigation studying the transition from the late Iron Age to the early Roman period in southern England. The fieldwork, takes place within Dorset, a county of outstanding natural beauty and one of the best preserved archaeological landscapes in Britain. The project is run as a Bournemouth University summer field school.

Oakington (England)
June 16-July 14, 2014. Institute for Field Research (UCLA). The fieldschool focuses on the site of Oakington (Cambridgeshire) and explores a fifth and sixth century cemetery first found in 1926.

Penycloddiau Hillfort (England)
July 20-August 16, 2014. Institute for Field Research (UCLA). At 21 hectares, Penycloddiau hillfort is one of the largest pre-Roman Iron Age sites in the UK. Previous work suggests that similar large contour enclosures may be a very early type (c. 800-400 BC); as a result, our excavations aim to help date the very origins of the hillfort in western Britain.

Saveock (Cornwall, England)
June-August, 2014. Saveock Water Archaeology. In fine Time Team tradition during the last week we excavated a Neolithic Leaf arrowhead and a number of fire cracked stones indicating a cooking area. Both these items are a first at Saveock. We have had the diggers and dumpers in this Autumn and moved the spoil from next to the area we found the arrowhead and fire stones and are going to be digging that in our 2012 season. So maybe we are going to be excavating a feasting area next to the Neolithic ritual pool in trench A1. The arrowhead could have been embedded in some meat being cooked by the firestones. This is just an idea, it will probably be something completely different! This is the joy of digging here it is never predictable.

Silchester Insula IX Roman Town Life (England)
July 7-August 16, 2014. University of Reading. The Silchester Field School takes place every summer for six weeks during which time all first year archaeology students at Reading attend along with external participants from all over the world. The excavation, which investigates Insula IX of one of Britain's most enigmatic Roman cities, has gradually increased in numbers participating year by year since its beginning in 1997.

Spike Island (Ireland)
June 28-August 2, 2014. Institute for Field Research (UCLA). This field school is part of a larger research project that examines the archaeology of the 19th century prison on Spike Island, Ireland’s Alcatraz.

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