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The Oakington Archaeological Project, United Kingdom

Location: Oakington , United Kingdom

June 17, 2013 to July 15, 2013

Session dates: 
Single session

Application Deadline: 
Monday, July 1, 2013

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Institute for Field Research, University of Central Lancashire, Manchester Metropolitan University, Connecticut College

Project Director:

Dr. Duncan Sayer, University of Central Lancashire, Dr. Faye Simpson, Manchester Metropolitan University

Project Description

East Anglia is among the richest archaeology areas in the UK, noteworthy for its Anglo-Saxon remains. The field school focuses on the site of Oakington (Cambridgeshire) and explores a fifth and sixth century cemetery first found in 1926. From three earlier seasons we have found 110 inhumation graves that include males with weapons, females with full costumes, two horses, and one cow. The aim of the project is to systematically excavate the extent of the surviving cemetery to investigate life on the edge of the Cambrideshire Fen. The project includes a public outreach component in the local village.

Period(s) of Occupation: Anglo-Saxon Periods

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Entire duration of field school

Minimum age: 
18 years old

Experience required: 
No prior experience required

Room and Board Arrangements

Students, supervisors and at least one director camp 50 yards from site in their own tents. Students are responsible for keeping the campsite tidy and a daily rota of litter pickers maintain the appearance of the camp.  A single, large marquee at the center of the site is used as a communal dinning location, public work/relax place, and provides shelter during rainy days. There are site buildings in the car part that operate s a lab, office, tool store and finds processing area.
The project is very fortunate to have access to the Parish recreation building. This includes a fully equipped kitchen, oven, sink and dishwasher. The parish also installed a washing machine for our sole use. We have access to the sports team showers; one block of communal showers is for men, one for women. Students on the project are organized into daily routines – cooking, cleaning (rec building), tidying (campsite and grounds) lunch, and washing up. This is strictly maintained and participation is considered part of the assessment process.
Please let us know when you apply for this program if you have special dietary needs, as well as any medical or physical conditions. We will advise you accordingly. The project is used to catering for vegetarians, those with gluten intolerance etc.

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Connecticut College
Number of credits offered 8 semester credit units


Contact Information
Ran Boytner
1855 Industrial Street Unit 106
Los Angeles
United States
Recommended Bibliography: 

Sayer, D. 2009. "Is there a crisis facing British burial archaeology?"  Antiquity 83:184-194.

Sayer, D. Mortimer, R. & Simpson, F. 2011. "Anglo-Saxon Oakington: Life and death in the East Anglian Fens." Current Archaeology 261:20-27.

Sayer, D. 2010. "Death and the family: developing a generational chronology." Journal of Social Archaeology 10(1): 59-91.

Simpson, F. & Williams, H. 2008. "Evaluating Community Archaeology in the UK." Public Archaeology 7(2): 69-90.