Lincoln Archaeological Field School 2018: Exploring Roman and Medieval Lincoln

Location: Lincoln, United Kingdom

June 11, 2018 to July 7, 2018

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



School of Humanities Bishop Grosseteste University Lincoln, Lincolnshire, UK

Project Director:

Dr Duncan Wright

Project Description

Lincoln Archaeological Fieldschool 

The Lincoln Archaeological Field School is a university-based training excavation which offers you the chance to gain fully-transferable academic credit at the same time as learning the key skills of archaeological fieldwork. The 2018 season will run from June 11th to July 7th and is now accepting applications. Based in the stunning historic city of Lincoln, England, you will have the chance to experience layers of history both on and off site. This year the Field School will excavate the site of a friary in the heart of ancient Lincoln, and expects to encounter significant Roman and medieval archaeological remains (see below). All training on the Field School is provided by qualified and highly experienced staff, with teaching delivered through a combination of practical on-site training as well as lectures and workshops. 

The Field School offers you the chance to gain fully transferable academic credits, and is worth 5 US credits (or 10 ECTS or 20 UK credits). Credits will be awarded on completion of a fieldwork assignment, set at the beginning of the Field School. If you choose to earn credits, you will receive academic supervision and also be given access to our Digital Learning Environment, as well as the university’s well-resourced library and other facilities.

As archaeological excavation can be tough work, we operate a very civilized Monday to Friday working week. Having the weekend not only gives you time to rest but also offers you the perfect opportunity to explore Lincoln and beyond during your time with us!

This summer’s excavation offers you the chance to get ‘hands on’ with history, and excavate Roman and medieval archaeology in the very heart of the historic city of Lincoln. Extending north from the the walls and gate of the colonia of Lincoln, the area now known as Newport was an important place throughout the Roman and medieval periods. Investigation has shown that Newport was used for both burial and settlement in the Roman period, and from the 12th century the area emerged as a suburb with its own market, an encircling earthwork, two churches and an Augustinian friary. Our excavations this summer will help unpick the complex development of Newport, targeting in particular evidence for Roman use and the remains of the poorly-understood medieval friary.

The Site: Exploring Roman and Medieval Lincoln 

The excavation site is located almost immediately outside the towns walls of Roman Lincoln, where previous archaeological work has found settlement, as well as inhumation burials and cremations. We expect to encounter more of this Roman activity over the course of the summer, and in some places it is expected to be lying underneath the medieval friary.

Perhaps the most exciting part of this summer’s programme, however, is our aim of locating the precinct of the Augustinian or ‘Austin’ Friary of Newport. Friars dedicated their lives to working among laypeople, especially in the growing towns of medieval Europe, and were supported by charitable donations. The friary in Newport was established in 1270 and was the only major institution serving the suburb. Despite its importance, surprisingly little is known about the friary’s history or development. Historic maps suggests that it was located in the angle between Rasen Lane and main thoroughfare of Newport, the area we have chosen for our excavation.  

In addition to pinpointing the location of the friary, our excavations hope to identify the arrangement of the complex and areas of building and burial. The friary was dissolved in the 16th century and is shown as a ruin on a map dating to 1610. Our excavations hopes to also shed light on this important stage of the friary’s history, as the property passed from its previous religious use into private hands in the post-medieval period. 

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman, Medieval

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: One week

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
No previous experience required for participation as all training provided. Students requiring academic credits must be registered at a recognised university studying a relevant subject such as anthropology, archaeology, etc.

Room and Board Arrangements

Optional self-catering accommodation during your attendance on the Field School is available in Bishop Grosseteste’s Halls dormitories at an additional cost (check-in on Sunday June 10th, check-out on Monday July 9th). Located in the historic heart of Roman and medieval Lincoln, the accommodation comprises individual bedrooms around a shared cooking and living space. The University’s dormitories are all located in the uphill district of Lincoln with a number of restaurants, food outlets and other shops within a few minutes’ walk. 

Fee for training, supervision and credit assessment and award: £1500.

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
School of Humanities Bishop Grosseteste University Lincoln, UK
Number of credits offered 20 UK CATS credits, equivalent to 10 ECTS credits or 5 US credits (subject to approval for transfer from your host institution).
During the 2018 season Field School students will be given formal tuition in the following activities: Archaeological project management including health and safety, Geophysical site survey techniques, Excavation strategy and decision making, Stratigraphic (single-context) recording systems, Completing archaeological context descriptions, Plan and section drawing Surveying and levelling (including DGPS survey), Archaeological photography, Processing and recording archaeological artefacts, including basic conservation methods, Processing environmental archaeological samples, including flotation sieving, Introduction to the post-excavation process.


Contact Information
Dr Duncan Wright
School of Humanities, Bishop Grosseteste University
United Kingdom
+44 1522 583774
Recommended Bibliography: 

Barker, P.A. (1993) 3rd edition. Techniques of Archaeological Excavation. London: Routledge.

Greene, K. (2010) 5th edition.  Archaeology: An Introduction. London: Routledge.

Jones, M.J., (2002) Roman Lincoln: Conquest, Colony & Capital. Stroud: The History Press Ltd.

Roskams, S. (2000) Excavation (Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology). Cambridge: CUP.

Spence, C. (ed.), (1990/1993) Archaeological Site Manual. London: Museum of London.