Scremby Osteology Field School

This listing expired on July 31, 2018. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Scremby, LIN, GB

Season: July 1, 2018 to July 27, 2018

Session Dates: Session 1- 1st-13th July 2018 Session 2- 15th-27th July 2018

Application Deadline: June 1, 2018

Deadline Type: Contact for details


Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:

The University of Sheffield and The Portable Antiquities Scheme

Project Director:
Dr Hugh Willmott and Dr Adam Daubney. Other key staff include Dr Katie Hemer and Dr Jenny Crangle (University of Sheffield)

Project Description:

An Anglo-Saxon Cemetery in Lincolnshire: On the side of a hill overlooking the southern Fens of Lincolnshire lies an Anglo-Saxon burial ground (5th-6th century AD) which remained hidden until 2017. Elaborate brooches and exotic beads once belonging to men and women who lived in the 6th century were found strewn in the ploughsoil – finds that represented graves recently disturbed by cultivation.

In the summer of 2017 we excavated four areas where surface finds indicated there were likely to be disturbed burials. The aims of these excavations were to assess the depth and state of preservation of the archaeology. Each of the four areas revealed a grave, and each grave was found to be partially damaged by machinery used in arable cultivation.

The 2018 field season aims to further establish the extent, depth, preservation and phasing of this site by sampling a larger area in a more strategic way. This will allow us to better understand the archaeology of the cemetery, and will also help us to understand how best to protect the site for the future. It also allows us to use the site to teach archaeology and osteology to students.

The field school will run in two sessions.

Session 1: 1st July – 13th July

Session 2: 15th July – 27th July

Both sessions follow the same schedule. During your stay, you will learn a range of excavation and survey techniques, supported by a variety of lab-based tutorials and lectures designed to give you relevant background knowledge to the period and nature of the site.  Each day of the field school consists of half a day of classroom-based teaching and half a day hands-on excavation of the burials. The provisional teaching schedule is below (NB this may be subject to some minor changes);

Day 1 – Cemetery excavation: techniques and practice

Day 2 – Introduction to Anglo-Saxon England

Day 3 – Death and burial in the Anglo-Saxon world

Day 4 – The skeletal inventory: skull, dentition, vertebral column, upper limb

Day 5 – The skeletal inventory: pelvic girdle, lower limb, the foot                                                     

Day 6 – Brooches pins & hangers: the material culture of Anglo-Saxon burial           

Day 7 – DAY OFF

Day 8 – Post-mortem changes to the body

Day 9 – Biographical analysis & paleodemography: age, sex and stature                    

Day 10 – Bioarchaeological analysis of human remains                                                           

Day 11 – Palaeopathology: degenerative disease and trauma                           

Day 12 – Palaeopathology: specific and non-specific infection                       

Day 13 – Palaeopathology: congenital, circulatory, neoplastic disease

Day 14 – LEAVE  

Period(s) of Occupation: Anglo-Saxon, Early Medieval, Dark Age

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Two weeks

Minimum Age: 17

Experience Required: None, full tuition provided by qualified tutors, please see the website for details and expertise of teaching staff.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Accommodation (included in the fee) takes the form of camping in the grounds of a 17th-century manor house. Tents, air beds, sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets are all provided. Students will have access to bathroom and kitchen facilities in the manor, and classroom teaching takes place there. All meals are also included in the fee and there is a traditional English country pub within a short walking distance of the manor house. Cost: £1099 for each two week session. Inclusive of camping accommodation, food, course materials and transport to and from the train station.

Contact Information:

Dr Hugh Willmott

Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, Regent Street


S1 3NJ

United Kingdom

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