Archaeology field school
Discover, excavate and analyse a royal medieval anarchy site.
This programme is now closed for 2022 applications.
|Programme dates||Sunday 19 June to Saturday 2 July 2022|
We offer a £300 discount for International Partner Universities and Study Abroad student mobility partners (email email@example.com if you are unsure about your status).
|Credits||You will 10 academic credits when you complete the programme. This is roughly equivalent to 5 ECTS credits or 3 US semester credits.|
Who it's for
The summer school is open to students with or without previous site-based experience. Our expert faculty staff will help you to develop your excavation, post-excavation analytical, anthropological, and archaeological skills.
What you will learn
Together we will uncover an exciting and important moment in British history. You will learn how to apply anthropological archaeology theory through practical experience. This summer school will teach you to critically assess an archaeological site within its historical and physical landscape and analyse your excavated finds in laboratory sessions.
Over the course of the summer school you will:
- spend at least eight days on site, gaining hands-on technical training by excavating and processing what you find;
- learn to use cutting edge geophysics and photogrammetry equipment, including ground penetrating radar, magnetometry, and airborne photogrammetry;
- develop a range of career-ready skills including archaeological survey, archaeological excavation, and recording techniques such as archaeological drawing methods, the use of record sheets and the documentation of finds;
- learn how to assess the significance of an archaeological site within its heritage setting in general, and that of the medieval landscape of Gloucestershire in particular;
- understand how to connect material culture with written records;
- learn how to describe and explain the chronological relationships between various archaeological deposits;
- undertake analysis in the Archaeological Science Laboratories at the University of Bristol's main campus;
- become familiar with laboratory protocols, working closely with the materials your digging generates;
- develop your teamwork and communication skills.
Field work and physical activity
This summer school is a field-based programme using a live archaeological dig site. Be aware that:
- this summer school includes physically demanding excavations on a full-time basis;
- you may be asked to work outside in varied weather conditions;
- you must follow all directions for site safety and protocols for your own safety and for the safety of others around you;
- you will be asked to bring your own suitable clothing and footwear.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the physical nature of this summer school.
Find out more about your summer experience by viewing our Archaeology Field School Programme Outline 2021 (PDF, 186kB). Note that this programme outline is from 2021; the 2022 provision may vary.
If you need to view the programme outline in another format, email email@example.com.
Archaeological site information
The summer school forms part of a five-year training and community research project called the Hazel Anarchy Research Project (HARP), which is based in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology. HARP provides students with practical archaeological skills and experience within the context of the social dynamics of the medieval anarchy period.
The primary focus is a T-shaped building with several rooms, possibly from two construction phases, and several smaller, stand-alone structures. Pottery and coins unearthed during early community excavations and an assessment of the structural remains date the surviving phase of the complex to between the late 11th and mid-12th century AD.
To date, archaeological research has been focused on large fortifications and castles. This site is therefore a unique opportunity to record the social dynamics between rural populations that supported the different parties.
The site is also in an area with a strong bronze age, iron age and roman presence, and expect to find things from these periods.
Excavating the Medieval Anarchy Period in South Gloucestershire, England
Dr Stuart J. Prior and Dr Konstantinos P. Trimmis#
The Anarchy in the UK (1135–1153 CE), was a time of rivalry, fear, and violence, between the sides of Empress Matilda and King Stephen for the throne of England and Normandy. The story started with the drowning of Henry I's illegitimate son William Adelin in a shipwreck, and Henry's attempts to install his daughter Matilda as Queen. His nephew, Stephen of Blois, seized the throne with the help of his brother the Bishop of Winchester. Barons of the north, Welsh leaders, and Scottish invaders were further perplexing the story in the early days as all sought to increase their respective positions, before Matilda with the help of her half-brother Robert of Gloucester decided to invade England across the sea in 1139.
Matilda then launched an all-out campaign to win back the crown, plunging the country into a civil war. In response to the crisis, nobles built still more castles, and rivals to the king set up their own mints and produced new coinage. Churches were fortified and the peasantry suffered deprivation as armies crisscrossed the country, ravaging estates and burning property.
We provide the best possible hands-on technical and academic training for students from around the world. With your participation in HARP you will learn not only about the real stories that influenced major modern TV shows, but you will also learn excavation techniques and use cutting-edge geophysics and photogrammetry equipment including ground penetrating radar, magnetometry, and airborne photogrammetry. HARP also runs a well-known social media team that can provide participants with valuable transferable skills that exceed the limits of anthropological archaeology practice.
You must meet all of these requirements to be eligible for this summer school:
|Final application deadline||Applications are now closed.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for queries on last-minute applications.
|Study level||Currently studying at undergraduate level|
|Subject requirements||We welcome applications from all majors, but the summer school is particularly suited to anthropology, archaeology, geography, art history, history, sociology, conservation and heritage, classics and museum studies majors.|
|Academic requirements||GPA equivalent to 60–63% on the UK scale, C on the ECTS scale, or 3.0 on a 4.0 GPA scale|
|English language requirements||
If English is not your first language, you need to meet our English language profile C.
You can view the tests and levels we accept by visting our Profile C language requirements page and selecting the 'English Language Proficiency Tests' tab. If you took the CET-4 or CET-6 tests, email email@example.com to find out what scores we will accept.
|Age||18 or over|
You can email or phone us if you have any questions about the course or your eligibility.
We provide accommodation, meals, transfers and a programme of exciting social activities. Find out more about what your time in Bristol will be like.