For 10 seasons, the excavations at Berkeley have revealed important archaeological finds from several periods in history, with interest being generated at an international level. However, alongside the ground breaking research, the excavations also act as training for archaeology students at the University of Bristol. There are 50 to 70 students working every day, from undergraduates to masters and PhD students. Initially all first years are required to partake for two weeks, while second and third years participate as part of a unit. Many students also choose to volunteer for longer periods of time or outside of their module choices, showing how valuable the training is to those studying, and with an interest in, archaeology.
Every year from May to June students put the theory learnt in the classroom into practice. The excavations provide the practical skills needed for a career in archaeology as well as beneficial life experience. By working in such a big group students can appreciate the value of team work and organisation. Students are also offered training in excavation as well as archaeological illustration, geophysics and post excavation techniques.
|Students are given support by supervisors to hone their skills|
‘It’s great training for a future in archaeological fieldwork as it provides step by step training. The supervisors are also really supportive’ – Isobel Bentley, 3rd year archaeology student.
‘Berkeley lets you get hands on with the archaeology you see in textbooks’ – Oscar Gilbert, 2nd year archaeology student.