Now that Spring is finally putting in an appearance, and we move toward Summer, it’s time to start planning activities, and ways to get involved in our archaeological heritage.

To this end, the current issue of Current Archaeology magazine includes a five-page listing of digs to get involved in. Many are free, whilst others require a payment – up to 4-figures in some cases! Some are suitable for beginners, others allow students to gain academic credit toward a degree, so all tastes and needs are catered for. There is a fuller listing available on their website.

For those that are less active or unable to get out and about, our friends at Dig Ventures have created a six-week online course, tailored for absolute beginners. the course covers:

  • What happens before excavation
    • how to locate and identify archaeological sites
    • the different stages of an archaeological project
    • what happens in pre-excavation planning and research
    • what should be included in an archaeological Project Design
  • What happens during excavation
    • how to set up a trench
    • which tools to use, and what techniques are best practice
    • how to identify and record what you find
    • how to recover artefacts and take environmental samples
  • What happens after the digging is finished
    • analysis of the data and archaeological materials
    • interpretation of the site
    • making the archaeological record accessible
    • what to do with an archaeological archive

The course costs £49, is endorsed by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and starts on Tuesday May 1st, so get in quick and register now.

Dare we say, for the cost of a couple of decent hammies, many metal detectorists would do well to follow this course, and learn how to do things correctly, for the good of all!