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Digging archaeology

6 September 2023

Summertime and the digging is easy: archaeology and conservation students head out on degree highlight placements

5 countries. 10 projects. 120 undergraduates.

Undergraduates of archaeology and conservation degrees are digging in Britain and further afield this summer, putting into practice their skills to uncover the past.

This year, 120 Cardiff University students are heading out to Neolithic, Iron Age, Bronze Age, Roman and early medieval sites in England, Wales, Denmark, Germany and the Czech Republic over a three-month excavation season.

Four-week placements take place each summer giving a wealth of practical hands-on experience to students who have completed Year 1 and Year 2 of their degrees.

Undergraduates benefit from the University’s long-held partnerships with stakeholders and practitioners across and beyond Wales, with some gaining experience in heritage management as well as community and experimental archaeology.

The majority of students are headed to sites in England and Wales, with four led by Cardiff archaeologists including Trelai on the outskirts of Cardiff, Fonmon and Llantwit Major in the Vale of Glamorgan. UK based excavations are also taking place in Dorset, Hereford and Wiltshire over the border.

34 students will be playing their part further afield at Middelaldercentret in Denmark, Piepenkopf and Grotenburg in Germany and Těšetice-Kyjovice in the Czech Republic.

As an undergraduate, Katie Faillace (Archaeology, PhD 2021 and BA 2015) chose firstly to excavate at Cardiff’s hidden gem, Caerau hillfort before a second placement with the Museum of London Archaeology.

Now a postgraduate tutor, Katie shares: “Summer archaeology placements through Cardiff University are invaluable - I was lucky to go into the field and into a major commercial unit, giving me broad skills for future employment in archaeology, numerous industry connections, and fantastic friendships.”

‘Placements are regarded as an integral element of the Archaeology and Conservation degrees at Cardiff, something underlined by our commitment to secure, source and fund this enriching component of the programme’ explains Professor Jacqui Mulville, Head of Archaeology and Conservation.

Archaeology at Cardiff is offered both as Single Honours BA and BSC, and in combination with Ancient History and History, with Conservation of Objects in Museums and Archaeology (BSc) available as Single Honours.

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