University of Exeter offer excavation opportunity for budding archaeologists

The Ipplepen dig last summer, 2013

The Ipplepen dig last summer, 2013 - Credit: Archant

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work on an archaeological excavation? An opportunity has arisen for budding archaeologists to participate in this year’s excavation at Ipplepen, near Newton Abbot.

A limited number of places are being offered to anyone over 18 to participate for one week during the month long excavation which will run from 7 July to 1 August 2014. The cost has been kept to a minimum of £200, and volunteers living in the Teignbridge district will be allowed to participate for free.

This year’s fourth season at Ipplepen in Devon, run by the University of Exeter, will return to the Roman road which was first revealed in 2011– featured on the BBC 2 programme ‘Digging for Britain’. The area is a complex series of enclosures and structures thought to be part of the largest Romano-British settlement in Devon outside of Exeter. Geophysical survey and a significant number of Roman coin finds have highlighted the importance of this extensive site and its potential to explore the relationship between Roman Britain and its native population. Last year’s field school revealed an Iron Age ring ditch and Romano-British features, along with evidence for Neolithic activity.

All participants will receive a full programme of training in excavation and archaeological recording. This will include: planning and section drawing; taking levels; soil sampling; photography; and the completion of written/digital site records. In addition, there will be tuition on: finds processing; 3D recording; surveying; geophysical survey; pottery analysis; environmental sample processing; community outreach; and an introduction to animal bones. All participants will receive a certificate of attendance and an evaluation of performance and skills acquisition.

For volunteers living outside Teignbridge, the cost per week is £200 (excluding accommodation and food). Participants are invited to take part for a minimum of 1 week. The working week will be 9am-5pm, Sunday to Friday. Past fieldwork experience is not essential, but participants should be at least 18 years old. Accommodation is not included, but reduced rates at a local campsite have been arranged. Places are limited, so early booking is recommended and places will be allocated on a first-come-first served basis. The closing date for applications is 6 June.

The excavation is funded by the University of Exeter, Portable Antiquities Scheme, British Museum and Devon County Council.

For more information please contact: Danielle Wootton, Devon Finds Liaison Officer: