Location: Castletown, , Isle of Man
This field school is based in the beautiful Celtic Isle of Man, which lies between Ireland and Britain. It is designed to give students training and experience in a range of field techniques. A programme of training in all aspects of graveyard survey will take place at a variety of historic burial grounds. Students will then be given excavation and geophysical survey training on a choice of settlement sites dating to the late prehistoric and historic periods. There are also visits to museums and sites of all periods from the Neolithic to historic.
The field school consists of three two-week parts:
Data capture: Survey. Training in surface survey on historic church sites using EDM theodolite, and recording historic gravestones at burial grounds using forms, measurements, rubbings and photographs, and also geophysical survey training using a gradiometer and a resistivity meter on settlement sites.
Data capture: Excavation. Training in a wide range of field methods, preliminary processing of finds and environmental samples including flotation and wet screening. Students will work on a range of different features and understand the relationship between various excavation and recording techniques and the research questions being asked of the site.
Data analysis. Students continue fieldwork, but concentrate on a project of their choice, using data collected by themselves and others from survey or excavation, on which they produce a report. This enables students be involved in the whole process from survey through excavation and recording to ordering and analysis of results.
Many students have used aspects of their field training and data they have collected for assignments back at their home universities, and many have carried onto Masters and doctoral programs. Students from the field school are now employed in universities, museums, contract archaeology. The director is often requested to write support references which carry weight as we know students so well.
The field school allows participants to work with European and UK students, and to discover the culture, landscape and history of this distinctive Celtic country (the Isle of Man has its own government), creating an educational but highly rewarding experience.
Period(s) of Occupation: Late prehistoric, historic
Room and Board Arrangements
Harold Mytum, editor, Global Perspectives on Archaeological Field Schools: Constructions of Knowledge and Experience, 2012, New York
Harold Mytum, Mortuary Monuments and Burial Grounds of the Historic Period , 2004, New York
Barry Cunliffe, Iron Age Communities of the British Isles, 4th edn, 2005, London