At Mercian we offer a variety of archaeological training schools, that enable delegates to choose the school most suited to their needs.

These include our ‘training field school’ experience; covering a wider variety of topics and skill-sets, and our more traditional ‘training excavations’ focused more on teaching, and learning, digging, and recording techniques. We also provide a “post-processing” field school covering many aspects of archaeology including finds processing. We also run training weeks in archaeological surveying, geophysics, GIS and more.


These schools are held at iconic and legendary sites rich in archaeology and heritage.

Courses for 2022:





 


Archaeological Field Schools and Training Courses

#sffs

The Sherwood Forest Archaeological
Training Field School, Nottinghamshire
5 day course

#baindig

Bainbridge Archaeological Training Excavation, Wensleydale, Yorkshire
5 day course

#postfield

Post-Fieldwork Training School, King John’s Palace, Nottinghamshire
5 day course

#geophys

Geophysical Survey Training course
5 day course

#landscape

The ‘Exploring Landscape Archaeology’ course, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire
5 day course





Discover King John's Palace free excavation

This is not an ordinary field school - this is a ‘training field school’ where you will learn about all aspects of archaeological excavation and receive hands on training and learning from archaeological professionals in the heart of Sherwood Forest…

As well as offering the best in archaeological training and support, the Field School is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil the requirements of the

Archaeological Skills Passport.


Take your skills to the next level by joining our week long

Sherwood Forest Archaeological Training
Field School 2022

at King’s Clipstone.

Price £450 per person, or £350 per student (in full time education, NUS card holder or international equivalent*)

Archaeological Skill Passport

For more information and to book your place(s) please click here.

Archaeological Training Field School 2021:


This course is suitable for all levels from beginner to experienced digger.

We cover the Core Skills of the Archaeological Skills Passport:

Handtools (Trowel etc); Handtools (Spade, Mattock etc); Site Formation Processes; Stratigraphic Excavation; Context Sheet Recording; Site Photography; Site Grid and Trench Layout;; Dumpy Level and Staff; Planning; Section Drawing; Collection of Samples; Artefact Recovery; Recording & Storage; Site Safety;

And we also provide lessons in:

3 dimensional surveying with a total station; Finds Processing; Pottery identification; Finds handling; Finds processing; Flint Knapping Demonstrations; History of Ceramics lectures and much more…

Field Days include lunch provided by our field caterers which will be eaten in our welfare area in the field.


The Sherwood Forest Archaeology Training Field School focuses on the medieval hunting lodge and palatial enclosure of the King’s Houses, now known as King John’s Palace, and the designed landscape that surrounded it.

King John’s Palace was the Royal Heart of Sherwood Forest in the Medieval period.

The site was visited by all 8 kings from Henry II to Richard II, with King John possibly holding a proto-parliament there in the early 13th century and Edward I holding Parliament there in 1290.

As part of the field school attendees will have the opportunity to learn all about Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood, outlaws, foresters, the landscape of Sherwood Forest in medieval times, the forest law, courts, offences and judiciary, the Palace at Clipstone, monasteries, chapels and hermitages, hunting parks, Nottingham Castle , Sheriffs and much much more about life in Medieval Sherwood Forest…


Archaeology Field School Sherwood Forest

2022 Dates:

To be announced




Join Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales for this week-long training excavation, which focuses on the teaching of archaeological excavation methods.


As well as offering the very best in archaeological training and support, this training excavation is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil requirements of the Archaeological Skills Passport.


Bainbridge Archaeological Training Excavation 2022

At Bainbridge, Wensleydale, North Yorkshire.

Price £450 per person, or £350 per student (in full time education, NUS card holder or international equivalent*)


2022 Dates:

To be announced


Archaeological Skill Passport

The beautiful village of Bainbridge was formerly the administrative centre of the medieval Forest of Wensleydale, and the magnificent Bolton Castle near Leyburn dominates the valley to the east. A Roman fort looms large over the village on the eastern side.

The site of the excavation is overlooked by a Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age Slight Univallate Hillfort. This fort occupies the high ground at the top of a steep slope on the southern side of the site.

We will be concentrating our excavations on the possible medieval manorial complex to the north of this fort, which has been identified from earthworks and recently discovered pottery (see below).


The area is famous not only for its beautiful landscape, but also it world famous cheese, and as the backdrop to the Television series ‘All Creatures Great and Small’.


Archaeological Training Excavation:

This course is suitable for all levels from beginner to experienced digger.

This training course focuses on the skills of archaeological excavation. You will receive training and experience in many techniques of excavation, including many Core Skills listed in the Archaeological Skills Passport:

Handtools (Trowel etc), Handtools (Spade, Mattock etc), Site Formation Processes, Stratigraphic Excavation, Context Sheet Recording, Site Photography, Dumpy Level and Staff, Archaeological drawing, Artefact Recovery, Recording & Storage, Site Safety.

This training course focuses on excavation and recording skills but there will also be a chance to undertake a number of techniques that make up the Secondary Skills of the Archaeology Skills Passport including:

Survey (Total Station), Finds Processing.

All techniques are taught and experienced throughout the week, a mixture of classroom sessions and hands on training from our Archaeological experts.


For more information and to book your place(s) please click here.



Archaeological Training Excavation:

This course is suitable for all levels from beginner to experienced digger.

This training course focuses on the skills of archaeological excavation. You will receive training and experience in many techniques of excavation, including many Core Skills listed in the Archaeological Skills Passport:

Handtools (Trowel etc), Handtools (Spade, Mattock etc), Site Formation Processes, Stratigraphic Excavation, Context Sheet Recording, Site Photography, Dumpy Level and Staff, Archaeological drawing, Artefact Recovery, Recording & Storage, Site Safety.

This training course focuses on excavation and recording skills but there will also be a chance to undertake a number of techniques that make up the Secondary Skills of the Archaeology Skills Passport including:

Survey (Total Station), Finds Processing.

All techniques are taught and experienced throughout the week, a mixture of classroom sessions and hands on training from our Archaeological experts.


For more information and to book your place(s) please click here.


Welby Archaeological Training Excavation 2022

At Welby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

Price £450 per person, or £350 per student (in full time education, NUS card holder or international equivalent*)


2022 Dates:

To be announced



Join Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in the beautiful Leicester countryside for this week-long training excavation, which focuses on the teaching of archaeological excavation methods.


As well as offering the very best in archaeological training and support, this training excavation is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil requirements of the Archaeological Skills Passport.


Archaeological Skill Passport

The Deserted Village of Welby is situated 3km to the north-west of Melton Mowbray town-centre, off the Nottingham Road (A606), in North Leciestershire.


The site “sits within a historically rich landscape with close proximity to prehistoric and Romano-British activity that could extend within the area of the site.”

The site sits a few miles north of the Historic market town of Melton Mowbray.

“Melton Mowbray is a town in Leicestershire, England, 19 miles (31 km) north-east of Leicester, and 20 miles (32 km) south-east of Nottingham. It lies on the River Eye and the River Wreake and has a population of 25,554. The town is well known for a culinary speciality, the Melton Mowbray pork pie, and as the home of one of the six licensed makers of Stilton cheese. Melton Mowbray is sometimes promoted as Britain's "Rural Capital of Food".

(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melton_Mowbray)





Discover King John's Palace free excavation

This training school is designed to provide training and experience in various aspects of the post excavation process. All tuition and training will be carried out under the supervision of experienced tutors, with finds training lead by Mercian's ceramic specialist David Budge.

 The course is designed to give delegates an understanding of what is involved in the post excavation process for finds, ranging from initial cleaning and processing of the finds as they come out of the ground, through to some of the specialist analysis that finds are subject to, through to illustration and preparation of the finds for publication.


The course is designed to allow delegates to gain experience of handling finds and to develop the ability to look at artefacts critically with a view to recognising the clues that give evidence of what they were used for and that can help to identify them.


The course also provides training in archaeological drawing techniques including preparing plans and /or sections for publication, and training in working with site archives to create site matrices.

Delegates will also learn archaeological GIS (Geographic Information Systems) including working with survey data, preparing maps, working with historic mapping, creating and working with 3D models.

Take your skills to the next level by joining our week long

Post-Fieldwork Training School 2022

at King’s Clipstone.

Price £450 per person, or £350 per student (in full time education, NUS card holder or international equivalent*)


Archaeological finds training session



*Please note that while aspects of this course will be in-depth, attendance on the course will not qualify delegates to work as finds specialists or archaeological illustrators; no matter how high the quality of tuition a week long course cannot substitute for the years of experience, training and knowledge required.


Archaeological Skill Passport

As well as offering the best in archaeological training and support, the 2021 Post-fieldwork training school is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil the requirements of the Archaeological Skills Passport.

Tin Tabernacle King John's Palace

All training will take place at the Tin Tabernacle, King John’s Palace, Kings Clipstone, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, England.


For more information and to book your place(s) please click here.

2022 Dates:

To be announced



Total Station Survey at King John's Palace in Sherwood Forest

In archaeology the ability to measure the location of a site, artefact, or earthwork is essential.

Nowadays many archaeological sites use either GPS or Total Station for site survey. Differential GPS can record points of circa 1cm accuracy levels in three dimensions, and can also allow real time ‘on the fly’ measurements to be taken allowing large areas of land to be surveyed. The total station is an electronic theodolite and Electronic Distance Measurer that records point locations by measuring distance and angles.

This course will teach the required skills that are used on excavations and other sites for locating features using GPS and total Station.

The course will also go further to enable participants to learn the complex skills of archaeological topographic survey, recording a site with a combination of both objective and subjective survey methods.

Topographic Survey Training day course aims to help participants learn about the theory, science, uses, methods, logistics, deployment, data collection, data processing, and reporting, behind archaeological topographic surveying.

The course will include a mixture of classroom and field based working. This is a field based training course consisting of hands-on experience backed up by some work in a classroom style environment. YOU will undertake the work in a group and collect real data in the field.


The course will include:


        

Students will meet at at King John’s Palace in Clipstone. The training will take place at the site of the Palace, and a survey will be undertaken in Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve. Full details of the site will be provided nearer the time, but will be within 2 miles of King John’s Palace (transport from the classroom sessions to the field will be provided if required).

The survey training will begin at King John’s Palace, former royal heart of Sherwood Forest, and then move to the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve where earthworks from Medieval Holloways and ridge and furrow to Second World War Military dug-outs will be surveyed.

As well as being a training survey, this course will undertake real archaeological research, mapping and recording earthworks as part of a level two survey of archaeological features as part of the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve Archaeological Survey.

Ancient track-way through the Forest

Learning to survey with Total Station at King John’s Palace

As well as offering the best in archaeological training and support, the topographic survey course is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil requirements of the Archaeological Skills Passport.

Archaeological Skill Passport

Take your skills to the next level by joining our week long

Topographic Survey Training Course 2021

Kings John’s Palace
and the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire.

Price £350 per person

The Major Oak in Sherwood Forest

The Major Oak legendary hideaway of Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest

The Major Oak in Sherwood Forest


2022 Dates:

Week of

10th - 14th October 2022


£350 per person


For more information and to book your place(s) please click here.





Take your skills to the next level by joining our week long

‘Exploring Landscape Archaeology’
Course 2022

at King’s Clipstone, and around Sherwood Forest

Price £350 per person

2022 Dates:

Week of

9th - 13th May 2022


£350 per person



Alongside all the above you will learn about the history and archaeology of Sherwood Forest, and also about the designed royal hunting landscape and Palace at its heart. Mercian Archaeological Services CIC run the Sherwood Forest Archaeology Project and are at the leading edge of research into this landscape of legends…

Archaeological Skill Passport

As well as offering the best in archaeological training and support, the ‘Experience Landscape Archaeology’ course is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil requirements of the Archaeological Skills Passport.


For more information and to book your place(s) please click here.

This 5-day Landscape Archaeology course combines class-room lectures, practical workshops (using computer-based applications), field visits, and site tours of the landscape to give an immersive learning experience, introducing students to the wide and exciting field of landscape archaeology.


The course uses the legendary landscape of Sherwood Forest as the main case study, with site visits to the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve and other local historic landscape locations, and also includes examples from around the UK and the wider world, to enable students to experience the subject first-hand and to begin seeing the landscape in a new way.


The course introduces many of the methods available for examining, recording and viewing the landscape, and for reconstructing historic landscapes, including:




The above will cover the theory and methodology of the various techniques above. Geophysical and topographic survey will not be undertaken on this course (please see Topographic survey courses and geophysical survey training courses if this is required). Delegates will get to work with Historic mapping data, aerial photographs, and LiDAR data sets.



The physical landscape is explored including:


The cultural or human landscape is then studied in relation to this underlying physical landscape, including:




Field trips identify features in the landscape as studied in the classroom and discusses how landscapes can be reconstructed from this evidence.


The course then looks at different layers of the imaged or human landscape:




The course then looks at some of the ways archaeologists attempt to understand the subjective human experience of landscapes in the past including:




The course is located at King John's Palace in Sherwood Forest, and includes site visits to the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve and surrounding landscape.






Discover King John's Palace free excavation

This training school is designed to provide delegates with and introduction to using GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for archaeology.


Archaeological GIS training:

Delegates will work with survey data and learn how to create maps, vector layers and geo-reference raster images, as well as create and work with 3D models.

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage, and present spatial or geographic data.

Archaeologists use GIS for many things including creating maps, analysing landscapes, understanding archaeological sites, creating 3D models, viewshed analysis, presenting survey data and more.

GIS is a great way to integrate data from projects and can be used to analyse that data as well as present it in the form of maps for publication.

The images to the below include GIS being used in building analysis, surveying, map work, and the displaying of geophysical survey data.



 

Take your skills to the next level by joining our 3 day

Introduction to GIS in Archaeology 2022

at King’s Clipstone.

Price £250 per person

3 Day Course


Archaeological Skill Passport

As well as offering the best in archaeological training and support, the 2021 Post-fieldwork training school is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil the requirements of the Archaeological Skills Passport.

Tin Tabernacle King John's Palace

All training will take place at the Tin Tabernacle, King John’s Palace, Kings Clipstone, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, England.


For more information and to book your place(s) please click here.

2022 Dates:

Week of

9th - 11th November, 2022



Archaeological Geophysics uses a range of instruments and techniques to detect and map variations below the ground surface. These can be interpreted by archaeologists and effectively enable the experienced practitioner to ‘see’ possible archaeological features under the ground.

On this course delegates will undertake geophysical Resistance survey, Magnetometer survey, and Ground Penetrating Radar survey.

The course will include a mixture of classroom and field-based working, enabling participants to learn the complex skills of archaeological geophysical survey, through both taught theory and hands-on practical learning.

On this course delegates undertake the work in groups and collect real data in the field.

Delegates will then learn how to download data and how to process it.

There will also be chance to learn about how this data can be used in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software, to produce maps ad plans.


The course will include:

        

Magnetometer Survey

Resistance Survey

Ground Penetrating Radar Survey

Take your skills to the next level by joining our week long

Geophysical Survey Training Course 2022

Location and dates for 2022 to be announced soon

Price £450 per person, or £350 per student (in full time education, NUS card holder or international equivalent*)

#magnetometer

As well as offering the best in archaeological training and support, the geophysical survey training course is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil requirements of the Archaeological Skills Passport.

Archaeological Skill Passport


2022 Dates:

To be announced


For more information and to book your place(s) please click here.



Alongside the above will be the opportunity to learn basic GIS skills, in order to build a historic landscape from old mapping, using 3D modelling and LiDAR data.

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#weldig

Welby Training Excavation, Welby, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
5 day course

#toposurv

Topographic Survey Training course in Sherwood Forest
5 day course

#gis

Introduction to GIS in Archaeology
3 day course

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