Join Mercian Archaeological Services CIC in the beautiful Leicestershire countryside for this week-long training excavation, which focuses on the teaching of archaeological excavation methods. As well as offering the very best in archaeological training and support, this training excavation is tailored towards enabling attendees to fulfil the requirements of the Archaeological Skills Passport.

The Deserted Village of Welby is situated 3km to the north-west of Melton Mowbray town-centre, off the Nottingham Road (A606), in North Leicestershire. The site sits within a “historically rich landscape with close proximity to prehistoric and Romano-British activity that could extend within the area of the site.” The site sits a few miles north of the historic market town of Melton Mowbray. “Melton Mowbray is a town in Leicestershire, England, 19 miles (31 km) north-east of Leicester, and 20 miles (32 km) south-east of Nottingham. It lies on the River Eye and the River Wreake and has a population of 25,554. The town is well known for a culinary speciality, the Melton Mowbray pork pie, and as the home of one of the six licensed makers of Stilton cheese. Melton Mowbray is sometimes promoted as Britain's "Rural Capital of Food".

As stated above this course focuses on excavation, and it is suitable for all levels from beginner to experienced digger. It is suitable for those wishing to develop their skills; for students and post-graduates seeking to fulfil the practical experience requirements of their courses; for those wishing to pursue a career in archaeology, or improve their knowledge to give them the edge at work; for those looking to acquire cross-transferable skills; for volunteer diggers wishing to raise their game, impress their friends, and increase their enjoyment of archaeology and heritage through a greater skill set and knowledge base; through to people simply wishing to learn for the love of learning.

What you will learn You will receive training and experience in many techniques of excavation, including many Core Skills listed in the Archaeological Skills Passport: • Handtools (Trowel etc) • Handtools (Spade, Mattock etc) • Site Formation Processes • Stratigraphic Excavation • Context Sheet Recording • Site Photography • Dumpy Level and Staff • Archaeological drawing • Artefact Recovery, Recording & Storage • Site Safety

This training course focuses on excavation and recording skills but there will also be a chance to undertake a number of techniques that make up the Secondary Skills of the Archaeology Skills Passport. You will receive All techniques are taught and experienced throughout the week, a mixture of theory sessions and hands-on training from our Archaeological experts. Every attendee will be taught to excavate. Delegates will be taught archaeological drawing methods. Delegates will also receive training and experience in measuring and recording heights with a dumpy level. Topics covered in the classroom sessions will include site formation and processes, stratigraphic excavation, context sheets, drawing and photography, alongside a Pottery Identification Training seminar. Lectures are accompanied by ‘hand-outs’. These will be made available to attendees to download via a file share. The details for access are provided before the field school. The files can be downloaded and are for students to keep. Mercian aims to be an environmentally friendly company and this helps us to work towards reducing our environmental footprint.

This course is suitable for people of all archaeological abilities from beginners wishing to take their first step, to experienced diggers wishing to take the next step, and from university students and post-graduates needing more experience, to retired people wanting to fulfil a life’s ambition… all are welcome and will be treated equally… the experience is tailored to the individual through hands-on personal supervision.

Field days include lunch (sandwiches) provided by caterers which will be eaten in our welfare area in the field. On-site toilet facilities are provided. All equipment is provided, although you are welcome to bring your own trowels etc (more details will be provided when you have booked).

About the site

A comprehensive introduction to the site history, and the previous season of excavation (field school 2021), is available via the interim report: Report on Archaeological Investigations at Welby, Leicestershire, Hanger Hill, Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, 2021. Open Series Report. Mercian Archaeological Services CIC Report No. MAS051 David Budge, 2021. This event is organised by Mercian Archaeological Services CIC, please contact [email protected] with any questions. Special Promotional SALE PRICE- £399* per person, or £299* per student (in full time education 18 and under, Student NUS card holder or international equivalent*, Distance Learning etc) *To take advantage of the promotional price, bookings must be received by 23:59 GMT on January 31st, 2024. After this time normal prices will apply.