News & Events 2013

2013 Field Season - Student applications 

Applications are now open for the Teffont 2013 fieldwork season between 17th August and 1st September. If you are interested in joining the project, please fill in the attached application form and questionnaire and email them to . We look forward to seeing you in the summer! More information is provided below - if you have any questions, please email David Roberts (project director) at




Summer fieldwork information

The project is run and supervised by current post-graduate and undergraduate students at York, so has a very different atmosphere to many summer digs, or the departmental field school. We strongly encourage students and volunteers to be involved in thinking interpretively about both individual features and the landscape as a whole, and take your opinions into account in how we understand the archaeology. We have a student:supervisor ratio of 5:1 at worst, so you receive much more training and encouragement than is generally the case on field projects. We also strongly encourage students to take responsibility on site, whether through sharing skills, looking after kit, taking the daily area debrief or doing site tours for the public or Young Archaeologists Club. For those who come back to the project over several years there is the possibility of becoming an excavation supervisor - all of our supervisors have previously worked on the project as students. Additional training is available in post-excavation processing, palaeoenvironmental processing, zooarchaeology and stratigraphic analysis, amongst other topics. The project has now been running for six years, the last three of which we've had a substantial field school in the summer, where we've taken mostly York students on our excavation of a Roman landscape in south-west Wiltshire. The first settlement we excavated (2010-2011) seems to be a place which people based themselves at during periods of activity at a Roman shrine on the ridge above the settlement site. Last summer we investigated a range of sites in the immediate landscape, including parts of the shrine, a probable burial ground, an early medieval building, a Roman building and some early medieval flood defences. This year we are focusing on two main objectives, to fully understand the shrine and burial areas through excavation. We will also be using geophysical survey and analytical earthwork survey to understand the landscape, and there will be opportunities for week long experiences in these areas for students and volunteers wishing to broaden their skill set. We will also be investigating an additional site of national (possibly international) significance, which has only just been discovered via metal-detecting. 

The project is funded by grants from various bodies, including the Association for Roman Archaeology, Roman Research Trust, Royal Archaeological Institute, the Arts Humanities Research Council, Salisbury Museum, ArcSoc and the Department of Archaeology, University of York, and through student digging fees. We keep student fees as low as possible, and they are always substantially less than the actual cost to us of supporting a student on the project. This year the fees will be £265 for two weeks, or £135 for one week only. This includes all your meals for the two weeks, toilet and shower facilities, campsite and dig hall facilities, and the cost of excavation. This is enormously cheaper than any other residential UK summer field school, and also cheaper than almost any non-residential field school. These will be further quite significantly subsidised for members of ArcSoc, or those who have been on the project previously (these discounts do not stack!). Further very substantial discounts are available to any local volunteers wishing to join us each day for fieldwork and return home in the evenings. A long weekend only option is available, but only under special circumstances, as we do not believe that a long weekend is sufficient time to teach you enough to be worth your while joining us, so is likely to only be available to those who have worked on the project before or those with extensive previous experience.

Meals on the project are prepared by our site cook, Tom, and are always very substantial and tasty. Last year's highlights included 3-way Chinese pork, a hog roast and Moroccan lemon chicken. We all camp in a field opposite the farm we use as a base, and have regularly cleaned portaloos and hot showers, which people usually manage to take every two or three days. We also provide a cash bar at the base on site, as the village does not have a pub. 

April 2013 Exhibition

2012 Fieldwork summary

In July 2012 the project enjoyed a succesful two week field season investigating a range of possible sites across Teffont through survey and excavation. We confirmed our identification of a Roman shrine enclosure identified through landscape survey (including LiDAR data analysis, aerial laser scanning), and identified a number of ancillary sites to the shrine, including a probable burial area. A prehistoric feature, possibly a Neolithic or Bronze age monument, was also dicsovered. We also identified a series of early medieval earthworks, which may have acted as flood defences against the Teffont stream. We enjoyed working closely with local landowners, community volunteers (especially our metal-detectorist colleagues) and our dedicated team of students.

Analysis of the excavation results is underway, and we hope will be completed by December 2013. Our results will also be publicised in a local exhibition, and through publication.