We have run courses at Poulton for nearly 20 years now.  They have been very well received and the vast majority of people who have attended would recommend them to others and come again.

If you’ve been on one of our courses before and just want to register, go here if you are a student or here if you are not.

What we Teach

These are training courses. We are not asking you to simply wash pots or move spoil. Within hours of your arrival on-site we expect you to be excavating serious archaeology (most people have the opportunity to work on human remains if they wish) . We will teach you how to:

  • Excavate carefully, layer by layer.
  • Assess the excavation conditions and record your excavation.
  • Locate your finds in three dimensions by using basic surveying techniques.
  • Plan and photograph your excavation.
  • Wash and categorise your finds.


Excavating properly to archaeological standards requires patience and attention to detail. We will demonstrate and coach the skills you will need.




Excavation is a destructive process. It is important you record everything, even the soil and weather conditions. Something not important today may become significant in a couple of year’s time. We will teach you how to differentiate types of soil and their colours and record that information.

It is important we know exactly where something was found.  Using the surveying skills we will teach you, your finds will be located in 3D to within a few centimetres.

Photography and Planning

Photography for the record is a little different from taking ‘snaps’ but is the norm these days. However planning (hand drawing to scale) is still a important technique in archaeology and can record things with greater clarity than photography.  We will teach you both skills.

Cleaning and Identification

Finds need to be appropriately cleaned and stored. We will teach you how best to do that.


We can achieve all the training in a single week but especially for undergraduate students, we recommend you book 2 or more weeks. Applying your newly learned techniques in different situations is  important.

Human Osteology

According to your interests and requirements, you can spend time in our human osteology facility.

General Facilities

They are not lavish but we believe they are adequate. We have a portable loo and two decent sized marquees for storage and messing. We have tea and coffee making facilities but no cooking capability. You will need to provide your own lunch

We provide all the tools and equipment but all ‘proper’ archaeologists have their own trowel 😉 However, you will need your own sensible clothing, waterproofs, boots and plenty of sun cream. Do not forget your packed lunch!


The site is a mile (1.5km) from the nearest public road and two and half miles (4km) from the nearest public transport (bus). We have no formal transport from the bus route to site but this can often be arranged on an informal basis with other attendees.

Low cost accommodation is available within a few miles and is detailed in the registration forms (Students, Others).

Dates and Costs

We keep our charges as low as possible and these are detailed in the registration forms (Students, Others) as are the dates for the next season..

More information

For any more information please email Paul Naylor or call him on 07884 118 281.