Topic ID #39032 - posted 12/12/2017 4:34 PM

UK- Ribchester Archaeology Field School 2018


This field school offers students the opportunity to experience excavating a Roman fort. Located in the historic village of Ribchester, within the heart of Lancashire’s beautiful Ribble valley. The auxiliary cavalry fort at Ribchester was established in CE 72-3 on the north bank of the river Ribble, constructed by the twentieth legion, and then occupied by the Ala II Asturum a Spanish auxiliary unit. In the 2nd century the fort was rebuilt and garrisoned by a Sarmatian cavalry unit; a connection which has led some to draw parallels between Ribchester and the mythology of King Arthur. Each of these groups brought their own identity leaving distinctive, but subtle traces in the archaeological record.

Ribchester offers IFR students the unique opportunity to learn the recording methods and skills necessary to deal with complex archaeology within a structured learning environment. Students all receive weekly one-on-one feedback to discuss their progress and leaning goals. Throughout the excavation students can undertake mini-classes in elements such as environmental archaeology, artifact recording and public outreach.

The Ribchester excavations focus on a large 30m by 10m trench just inside the fort’s north gate, opposite the granaries. This is allowing us to carefully explore the later Roman and post-Roman archaeology of this important fort and understand the changing relationship between soldiery and civilian identity during and after the Roman occupation. In previous years IFR students have excavated the forts gatehouse, workshop floors and the external ditches to the fort, finding over 8,000 artifacts. 2018 will be a year of spectacular finds for IFR students as we excavate the later Roman buildings.


·         Course Dates: June 13-July 16, 2018

·         Enrollment Status: OPEN

·         Total Cost: $4,360

·         Course Type: Field Archaeology

·         Instructors: Dr. Duncan Sayer, Dr. James Morris


For the initial four nights in Preston students will be accommodated in university dorms. During the excavation students, supervisors and directors camp 50 yards from site in their own tents. Students are responsible for keeping the campsite tidy at all times. The project is very fortunate to have access to the Village Hall for use during the day as the finds processing facility or site office and in the evenings it provides shelter and a communal focus. This includes a fully equipped kitchen with cutlery and crockery, fridges, oven and two sinks. There is access to a washing machine during the project. Showers are hired in on a trailer and are good quality facilities powered from the mains electrics and bottled gas. Every day (except Monday which is the day off) food is provided in the evenings from a local catering business, and their shop, which is five min walk from site, provides the opportunity for people to purchase excellent bacon sandwiches during rest times if required.

ACADEMIC CREDIT UNITS & TRANSCRIPTS Credit Units: Attending students will be awarded 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter credit units) through our academic partner, Connecticut College. Connecticut College is a private, highly ranked liberal arts institution with a deep commitment to undergraduate education. Students will receive a letter grade for attending this field school (see grading assessment and matrix). This field school provides a minimum of 160 direct instructional hours. Students are encouraged to discuss the transferability of credit units with faculty and registrars at their home institutions prior to attending this field school.


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