Volunteer and get digging with archaeologists

posted on July 17, 2017

In September there will be an archaeological excavation at the Sylva Wood Centre. This is your chance to get involved!  Either just come along to one of our Open Days, and/or volunteer to join the archaeologists during the two-week excavation from 11-22 September (excluding Monday 18th). You can join the team and help dig, or identify, sort and clean finds.

Archaeological excavations at Sylva Wood Centre September 2016

Previous archaeological excavations at Sylva Wood Centre, September 2016

No experience is required and we will provide training. You can volunteer for a half-day or one full-day, or any number of days, across the time we are working. There is no charge but we would be extremely grateful for a £5 voluntary donation from all volunteers to cover the cost of hiring the digger to strip topsoil at the dig site. Please see the booking link at the end of this post.

Volunteering Open Day Saturday 9 September

If you think you would like to volunteer please come to our volunteering Open Day on Saturday 9 September to see the site, learn more about the archaeology and register for a day/days. The site will be open from 10am to 3pm. If you really can’t come in person please email: jane.harrison@conted.ox.ac.uk

Places will be limited and given on a first come first served basis. Book your place here

Open Day Sunday 17 September

The site will be open from 10.30am to 3.30pm with tours of the site, opportunities to chat with the archaeologists, see the finds, learn more about the past of your area and about the Sylva Foundation, and to picnic on the Sylva Foundation estate.

Excavation details for potential volunteers: 11-22 September inclusive (not 18 September)

  • We will work from 9am to 5pm with breaks for lunch and for tea/coffee in the morning and afternoon.
  • Sylva will provide inside and outside areas for sitting, access to water and toilets.
  • You will need to wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, and stout shoes or boots. Bring layers, a hat, sun-cream and waterproofs, plus your lunch and a water bottle.
  • Sylva and the Archaeologist team will provide all equipment and training; hot drinks, shelter and access to toilets and drinking water.

The excavation and the history of the site

The dig will be run by a team of archaeologists from the University of Oxford and the Department for Continuing Education’s East Oxford Archaeology Project.

An excavation in the same ordinary-looking field last year uncovered an Anglo-Saxon hall-building – probably part of a big complex of buildings (see photo above). This year we’re looking at what might be earlier archaeology from the Iron Age and Romano-British times before Sylva complete their wonderful tree-planting scheme. The area of the field has clearly been a popular place to live, and what we find might link it to the Roman archaeology of Dorchester and to the Iron Age hillfort on Wittenham Clumps.


Book your place here

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