Location: Court House, Hereford HR3 6AW, United Kingdom
Session Dates: June 29-July 27, 2024
Application Deadline: April 1, 2024
Deadline Type: Rolling
Institute for Field Research (IFR), University of Manchester
Prof. Julian Thomas & Prof. Keith Ray
Since 2010, the Beneath Hay Bluff Project has been investigating the character of prehistoric, and specifically Neolithic activity in southwest Herefordshire, or the border between modern England and Wales. This region has been somewhat neglected by prehistoric archaeology, in part owing to a lack of antiquarian investigations, but it is increasingly clear that it is distinguished by a rich and under-exploited prehistoric record. In seeking to characterize Neolithic activity across a broader timescale and to address questions of monumentality, memory, place and material traditions, we have excavated at a number of sites, including the funerary round cairn at Olchon Court and the long mounds, buildings and causewayed enclosure of Dorstone Hill. The region is a rural one, with picturesque villages, castles, abbeys, rolling hills and lush river valleys: it is at once typically ‘English’ and bordering on rugged Welsh uplands. The field school provides a unique learning experience by drawing on the resources of both the University of Manchester and Herefordshire Archaeology. Many of our supervisory staff are professionals from the world of commercial archaeology, who bring a wealth of experience and know-how. As well as undertaking four weeks in the field, practicing excavation, recording and survey, students spend a week in the very different urban environment of Manchester, taking part in post-excavation tasks in the University laboratory, and visiting sites representative of the contrasting heritage of the world’s first industrial city. Having identified a site of national importance at Dorstone Hill, we will now seek to place this monumental complex into a wider context by addressing a series of new sites, and seeking to engage our local community to a greater extent. While completing work at Dorstone Hill, we will be expanding our scope to investigate a number of other sites. These will include the major megalithic tomb of Arthur’s Stone and the 11th century AD Snodhill Castle (near Dorstone).
Period(s) of Occupation: Prehistoric, Neolithic Archaeology
Project Size: 1-24 participants
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Students are expected to stay the full length of the program.
Minimum Age: 18
Experience Required: None
Room and Board Arrangements:
Our campsite is the cricket field in Dorstone village, which we have exclusive use of during the fieldwork period. There is a pavilion with showers and toilets, and another building used as a kitchen. During the fieldwork period we also have a large marquee for dining and social space, and at the bottom of the field, beside the stream, there is a space for a campfire. IFR will provide tents. During fieldwork, our food is prepared by a cook employed by the project. There is a hot meal each evening, a variety of breakfast options, and a choice of sandwiches delivered to the site at lunchtime. We are happy to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free, food allergies and intolerances, halal, kosher and other diets.
8 semester (12 quarter)
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