The Big Dig Field School - 2022

The Big Dig Field School - 2022

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These guided tours are hosted by site directors. You’ll have the opportunity to see the current digging and examine the artefacts recovered.

About this event

Event Date: 6 June - 8 July

Time: 09:00 - 17:00 (finish on site 16:30)


The Durotriges Project ‘Big Dig’ Field School is a Bournemouth University summer field school by current students and experienced archaeologists. The fieldwork takes place within Dorset, a county of outstanding natural beauty and one of the best-preserved archaeological landscapes in Britain.

The Durotriges Project is studying the role that Dorset's ancient Iron Age societies played in networks of production, exchange and communication with the rest of Britain and the continent. Students from our range of archaeology courses are able to gain hands-on experience at a fascinating site examining prehistoric roundhouses, production areas and cemeteries, while those with an interest in archaeology, Dorset's history, or the project as a whole are welcome to join us.

Important information: With continued concerns over Covid security, combined with the relatively large number of undergraduates participating in fieldwork, we are only able to accept a small number of volunteers in 2022.

Please note: You must be aged 16 or over to take part. Further information, including essential kit, specific timings, and joining instructions, can be obtained by emailing

What to Expect: Work on site will take place daily between 9am - 5pm, five days each week (excluding Saturday and Sunday). We would recommend that you attend for a minimum of two weeks to expect to undertake some or all of the following activities:

  • Site preparation, top-soil sampling, and trench excavation
  • Stratigraphic excavation of deposits and features
  • Context and feature recording (including written and photographic descriptions)
  • Sampling for environmental materials and specimens for scientific testing
  • Illustration: production of measured plans and sections
  • Sieving and sorting of soil samples to extract environmental materials and artefacts
  • Finds processing: cleaning, marking, logging, documenting and packaging different materials
  • Topographic survey for the collection and mapping of spatial data (total station; GPS etc.)
  • Geophysical survey for detecting and mapping below-ground features (resistivity and magnetometry

Accommodation and Transport: We are not able to provide accommodation for the dig so please arrange your own accommodation via platforms such as or We are encouraging participants to travel to the dig site (especially if you are based in the local area around Dorchester), there is parking available. We will also be able to offer some volunteers travelling from Bournemouth a space on our bus. Should you wish to join us on the bus you can indicate this when you register for the event. We will confirm if a space is available for you.

What to Bring: Full details of what you need to bring and a suggested reading list will be provided when your booking has been confirmed. However, you may want to start thinking about the following: You will need to dress appropriately for excavation in the UK. Bring 'stout' (i.e. walking boots/steel-toe capped work boots) footwear (not sandals/trainers/flip flops etc.) You will need to bring hats, sun cream and rain wear and don't forget food (packed lunches) and (importantly) an adequate supply of water (there is a water supply on site but in order to stave off potential dehydration your own supply is imperative). Also to allow you to do magnetometry, pack some shorts or tracksuit type trousers and T-shirt which do not have ferrous buckles or the like on, and some trainers.

For further information on this event please contact:

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