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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Europe - England - Thornton Abbey Medieval Hospital and Cemetery Excavation - 2015

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2015-06-28
End Date 2015-07-24

Multiple Sessions yes
Multiple Session information

Week 1- 28th June to 3rd July
Week 2- 5th to 10th July
Week 3-12th to 17th July
Week 4- 19th to 24th July

Archaeology Field School Location

Thornton Abbey,
United Kingdom

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution

University of Sheffield

Archaeology Field School Tuition

Full tuition is given by staff from the University of Sheffield

Archaeology Field School Room and Board

Camping and full board included in the field school fee

Archaeology Field School Travel
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs

£195.00 per week (Approx. $300)
This includes supervision, course materials, all meals, camping in tents and pick up & drop off at the local train station (Thornton Abbey)

Archaeology Field School Description

Thornton abbey was founded as an Augustinian priory in 1139 by William Le Gros and over the next two centuries expanded into one of the richest houses in England. In 1539 the abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII although it continued to be used as a college of secular priests until 1547 when it was finally suppressed by Edward VI.

Since 2011 The University of Sheffield has been undertaking a five year research programme on the abbey precinct. This not only aims to undertake a complete topographical and geophysical survey of the monastic enclosure, it also include targeted excavation of the identified medieval and post-dissolution features in order to gain a better understanding of the site’s long history.

During the 2015 season we will be continuing our excavation in the area identified last year as the location of the medieval hospital of St James and its associated cemetery. Trenches will be located over the east end of the hospital chapel, the infirmary hall, and we will be continuing work on the cemetery, where to date over 120 human skeletons have been excavated.

Students attending the field school play a central role in continuing the geophysical and topographical survey of this area, as well as taking part in the excavation of the trenches. You will also have the opportunity to excavate in the cemetery and help process the human bones and other artefacts. All work is supervised by experienced staff from the University of Sheffield, volunteers get to take part in all the key activities.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type

Survey, excavation

Time Period


Field School Setting/Conditions

Rural. Site is a short easy walk from the campsite

How is the project area accessed each day

Easy walk

What is the daily schedule for the field school


Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
Is there a professional certification for this field school


Directors and Instructors

Dr Hugh Willmott FSA

Dr Diana Swales

Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn

Open area excavation
Human osteology
Topographic survey

On rain days will there be lab work?


Will there be additional organized activities?


Will there be additional organized activities?


Is travel restriced during free time?


Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Dr Hugh Willmott
Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield, Northgate House, West Street
South Yorkshire
United Kingdom

Field School Contact E-mail:
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