Association for Roman Archaeology
Partner Venues
Research Materials

Opportunities: Courses, excavations and volunteering in Roman Archaeology

Information is mainly derived from those published by Current Archaeology with others added. The opportunities vary in type, dates, duration, cost and eligibility. It is essential that any interested parties research the sites fully before committing to attending. External links have been reviewed, however the ARA is not responsible for the content of external websites and we do not link to external sites in return for cash, services or any other consideration in kind.

For full details see the individual websites and and

Other activities may be found, associated with the Festival of British Archaeology in July,


Professor Maureen Carroll of the University of Sheffield is directing an excavation in Italy in conjunction with, the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Puglia and the British School at Rome. An opportunity exists for ARA members to join the dig. For more information please click here

Plumpton Roman Villa, near Lewes, East Sussex, Training Excavations and other Field Courses. July-August
All courses are suitable either for beginners or for those with some experience, ie those considering archaeology at university (minimum age 16), amateur archaeologists, undergraduates, and those undertaking university extra-mural courses in archaeology. For more information please see the Sussex School of Archaeology website here

Ashtead Roman Villa and tile Works, Surrey: August-September,

Copped Hall Trust Archaeological Project, Essex: July-August,

Bexley Archaeological Training Group, Kent: July-August, Farm Excavation - October, a further season of excavation on the Romano-British rural settlement at Flexford. There are a few vacancies for volunteers who have not worked on the site before

South East

Discovering Dorchester: July,

Kent: Hollingbourne Field School: July-August,

Rocky Clump, Brighton: April to October, weds and sats,

Silchester Roman Town Life Project, Berks: July to August,

South Oxfordshire Archaeological Group, Goring Oxon: June-October Sundays,

South West

Durotriges Project, Dorset: June,

Hanging Hill, Cotswolds, September-November,

Winchester-London Roman Road, Alresford, Hampshire: March to September,various bank holiday weekends


Piddington Excavation, Northampton: July-august,

Southwell Archaeology Project, Nottinghamshire: June,

North East
Binchester Excavation Project, June-July,

Romans on the Tyne, South Shields: June-August,

Swaledale and Arkengarth Archaeological Group, Yorkshire: July,

North West

Poulton Research Project, Cheshire: June-August,


Roman Antiquities Section, Yorkshire Archaeological Society: BARGAIN ROMAN MONOGRAPHS

To order Roman-period Yorkshire Archaeological Reports, now available at greatly reduced prices, please click here




The excavation will be open to visitors on Saturday the 25th July. Please note that there is no car parking allowed at the cemetery itself. Prospective visitors should find a parking space in the north west edge of Keynsham and walk up the hill to the cemetery entrance which is about 400 yards up Durley Hill from the Rugby/Football Ground , on the right hand side of the Bath-Bristol Road (A 4175)
Initial Contact: Bryn Walters, Director, 'The Association for Roman Archaeology'
TEL: 01793 534 008
For details see the Facebook page: and to see a document explaining the excavation please click here

Festival of Archaeology, Council for British Archaeology, 11-26th July 2015

For full details see the website: and to see a comprehensive list of all the Roman related events in the Festival of Archaeology this year please click here

Greek and Roman Armour lectures

The Association for Roman Archaeology has been invited by the Society for Roman Studies to attend a series of lectures by world experts on the subject of Greek and Roman Armour to be held on 20th July at Senate House, University of London commencing at 10 30. Tickets are free and must be pre-booked online in accordance with the attached flyer. For more information please click here

Temple of Mithras Oral History Project: Bloomberg and MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology).

MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology), in conjunction with Bloomberg, are undertaking an oral history project collecting the remembrances of anyone who visited the original discovery of the Temple of Mithras back in 1954. Some of you may have heard about this on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning or on the lunchtime BBC news. If you visited the site, or know someone who did, have any cuttings or photographs, or even just remember queuing for hours, they would love to hear from you. The telephone line is manned from 9.00 to 5.00 but there is an answer machine attached and everyone who leaves their details will be contacted.

For more information please click here

Westminster Comes to St Mary's, Little Brickhill. David S. Neal. St Mary Magdalene : Watling Street, Little Brickhill, Buckinghamshire, MK17 9NA. 26-27th July, 2-6pm.

This is the title of an exhibition being held on Sat and Sun the 26 and 27 July between 2-6 in the local village church at Little Brickhill. Over the past two years David Neal has been making detailed paintings of the medieval Cosmati mosaics in Westminster Abbey. This is a very rare opportunity to see David in action working on his remarkable renditions, never before done in public. Members of ARA and the public are invited to see this once in a lifetime event! For more details please click here

Volunteer Appeal.

Rockbourne Roman Villa near Fordingbridge in Hampshire (postcode SP6 3PG) is to open again in 2012 on Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays, 11am to 4pm, 1st April to 30th September.

The villa is the largest in the area and has evidence of 40 rooms with surviving bath houses, living quarters with mosaics and hypocausts, farm buildings and workshops.

This important Roman heritage site was in danger of being closed to the public but thankfully remains open. Volunteer Museum Welcomers are needed to help with the running of the site, shop, museum and displays to ensure that the site stays open.

As part of the Association's remit for the promotion, presentation and preservation of Britain's Roman Heritage we happily encourage people to help. If you live within reasonable distance and can spare a little of your time and help in this fine commitment it would be gratefully received and could also promote the wider awareness of the Association for Roman Archaeology.

For more information please contact ; The Curator or Visitor Services Assistant on 019620 826700, For further details of the site please see: and of the volunteer appeal

Campaign to preserve Southwell Roman site, Nottinghamshire


In 1959 excavations directed by the late Charles Daniels, east of the great minster church at Southwell in Nottinghamshire, revealed evidence for a Romano-British rural building, interpreted at the time as a substantial villa of importance. The work was done in advance of a proposal to construct a school on the site. Romano-British remain, including tessellated flooring, had been revealed intermittently across the area since the late 18th century.

The present Norman minster was preceded by an earlier Saxon church on the site. Evidence of this has been postulated from a section of tessellated floor thought to be constructed from salvaged material from the adjacent villa and re-laid in the Saxon period.

However an alternative interpretation, that this segment of floor is of original in situ Roman date, comes from Bryn Walters' examination of the remains. The floor respects the alignment of the Minster's transept walls, which may suggest that a minor detached Roman structure, associated with the villa, was utilised as part of the first-phase Minster.

In 1971 when the school was under construction over 200 burials were disturbed in an area subsequently identified as the lower courtyard of the Roman villa. Unfortunately no confirmed dates were obtained for the burials.

The school was demolished over 10 years ago when it was proposed that the site be used for a housing development.

The most recent archaeological evaluation trenches (2008-09) on the proposed development site revealed substantial stone walling, not previously detected. The walls, constructed in massive blocks of masonry may have formed part of a monumental structure or massive terracing for the suggested villa.

Dr Phil Dixon, Archaeological Advisor for the Minster, supervised repair works beneath the Minster's chapter house several years ago and encountered the source of a prolific spring. This spring would have risen on the higher ground just west of the main villa building and a little way north-east of the south transept where the tessellated floor is seen.

Villa or Sanctuary?

The combination of this evidence has supported the theory put forward by Bryn Walters, that the Southwell villa, certainly in the fourth century had been part of a spring-line sanctuary with a possible temple or shrine on the higher ground above. Comparative sites with similar interpretations include Great Witcombe and Chedworth, both in Gloucestershire.

The importance of Southwell lies in its continuity; its transition from pagan site into a Christian one, a site that did not fade away with time but continued as a sacred site, serving a living community up to the present day, and may be unique in this respect in Britain.


Last year, in 2011, a planning application was refused for development of the site but others may be forthcoming in the future. Campaigners intend to submit a formal application for a change of use for the area, so that it may be preserved and landscaped as part of a Southwell Heritage Park. This may allow more detailed archaeological study and preservation to take place.

The campaign support includes that of Bryn Walters on behalf of the ARA, Professor Martin Henig, Dr Will Bowden of Nottingham University, and others from within the archaeological community.

Anyone wishing to offer support for this valuable site should write to: Chief Planning Officer, Newark and Sherwood District Council, Kelham Hall, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG23 5QX and also send a copy to: Southwell Heritage Park Campaign, 15 Kirklington Road, Southwell, NG25 0AR.


Daniels, C, 1966 Excavation on the Roman Villa at Southwell, Transactions of the Thornton Society 1966 pp13-54

Walters, B, 2012 Campaign to preserve Southwell Roman site, Association for Roman Archaeology Bulletin No. 27, p3

Pre-Construct Archaeological Services, 2010, The Former Minster School Site, Church Street, Southwell, Nottinghamshire: Archaeological Evaluation, (M Rowe for JWA Architect and Caunton Properties