Department of Classical StudiesWestern Arts and Humanities

Vindolanda Field School

vindolana

This program will be an intense and very rewarding five-week experience for university students each summer. It is designed for motivated students of archaeology, Classics and history with some previous knowledge of the Roman world. No prior excavation experience is required as the archaeology component will provide in-depth field training. Ideally, the participants will be highly motivated individuals who seek a deeper knowledge of the Roman world, field archaeology, and current research tools for understanding the past through history and archaeology.

A primary goal of the field school is for students to gain an appreciation for combining historical and archaeological material to further our understanding of past cultures. The focus of the archaeological component will be the site at Vindolanda and daily participation in all aspects of the project: excavation, survey of buildings and landscape, finds processing (ceramic and bone washing, environmental sampling), and data recording (stratigraphic context sheets, photography, section/plan drawing, etc.). An in-depth understanding of the archaeology at Vindolanda will be supplemented with trips to other sites and visits to active excavations around the north of Britain. The historical component will focus on the history of the Roman period in Britain with particular emphasis on the northern frontier and the role of soldiers and civilians within the province. The historical aspect of training will be achieved through evening lectures, field trips, on-site discussions and student presentations.

We will accept eight students from Western for our five week program. The field school aims to give students training in two aspects of archaeological inquiry: the techniques of field excavation and the archaeology and History of Roman Britain. It brings together archaeological and historical approaches to the subject of Roman Britain and frontier studies in order to investigate issues such as provincial life, Roman imperialism and identity in antiquity. Students will participate in daily excavations on the site of Vindolanda, a military fort and settlement on the Roman frontier in Britain, which has had a thriving excavation and research program run by The Vindolanda Trust for over forty years. The Field School group will also take weekly field trips to explore the landscape around Hadrian's Wall and the north of Britain, in order to gain a broad perspective on a frontier and imperial landscape that thrived on the edge of the Roman Empire. To learn more about the research goals of The Vindolanda Trust and its excavation programs, please visit: http://www.vindolanda.com.