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Liverpool Archaeology Field School

At Liverpool, we understand the importance of practical learning. A solid introduction to professional skills is vital to grasp archaeological processes – whether your degree is in Archaeology, Archaeology and Ancient History, Egyptology, Ancient Civilisations, or Evolutionary Anthropology.

Our Liverpool Archaeology Field School takes place for two weeks after the summer examinations in Year 1 of our programmes, just before the end of term. Students are already staying in their term-time accommodation, and the practical teaching and learning takes place on campus and on a research and training excavation reached by minibus.

Norton Priory

Norton Priory, extensively excavated in the 1970s and 1980s, is now the subject of a long-term collaborative research programme in which Liverpool students are taking a central role in examining previously neglected aspects of the site. These include the monastic moat system, monastic burial grounds, the infirmary buildings, and the secular houses and gardens on the site after the Dissolution of the monastery in the 16th century. Norton Priory is open to the public with its already-excavated monastic ruins on show and with an award-winning museum displaying finds – including those being found by Liverpool students in our new campaign. Our students are gaining practical skills whilst uncovering new evidence for our past.

Our aims

The aim of the Field School is to provide first-year Liverpool undergraduates with the training and guided learning that they need, whatever period or part of the world they are primarily interested in, through the following activities:

  • Stratigraphy and formation processes
  • Matrices
  • Single-context excavation
  • Recording
  • Archaeological photography
  • Drawing plans and sections
  • Environmental sampling/processing
  • Finds processing/conservation
  • Geophysics and scientific analysis
  • Topographic survey
  • Finds illustration
  • Heritage communication

Second and third-year undergraduate and post-graduate students can also gain experience, and some are able to develop their interests and responsibilities in those aspects of fieldwork in which they have particular interests. Many students are motivated to attend excavations abroad after their training at Norton Priory, including Israel, Turkey and Zambia. We are committed to progression and career development for our students, and the fieldwork develops many employability skills including teamwork, timekeeping, working to a goal, precision and accuracy, and communication.

Fieldwork requirements

Find out about our fieldwork requirements, including single honours and joint honours programmes.

Statement on inclusivity

Archaeological fieldwork can be physically demanding, and requires an ability to undertake certain tasks (such as walking, carrying/using tools and equipment). At Liverpool, our Disability Support Team is committed to supporting students and considering barriers to participation. On student request, we discuss reasonable adjustments to enable participation for disabled students, and can provide alternative (non-field) options as appropriate. Please contact Harold Mytum, our Director of Fieldwork, for further information.

We abide by the Higher Education Academy’s good practice guidelines for inclusive fieldwork training and we are committed to dignity at work and study. If you have any issues related to either of these areas around fieldwork, please contact Jane Stockley, our fieldwork coordinator.