Training excavations

Training excavations are often long-term research projects on large and important sites. These are often run by universities or a local society and are used as training grounds for students. However, there is usually plenty of room for those who aren’t formally studying archaeology to take part. Summer and, more commonly now, Easter excavations run for several weeks though you are likely to be able to go for as little as one week or as long as the whole excavation season. A preliminary training week is often provided.


You must expect to pay to go on a summer excavation. It can cost around £100 to £200 a week. This is to cover costs like accommodation, equipment and meals. At the cheaper end you will probably be expected to bring your own tent. However, you may get a reduced rate if you intend to eat and sleep at home.


A list of summer excavations can be found in the briefing pages in the magazine British Archaeology which is available in WHSmiths or on the Council for British Archaeology's website at: This page also has information about upcoming courses, conferences and exhibitions. has details of opportunities to do archaeological activities around the world. You will find opportunities to go as a non-paying volunteer as well as excavations you will have to pay to work on.


You can also find opportunities to get involved on weekends and in the holidays on Current Archaeology’s website.


Click here for a regularly updated list of opportunities to do archaeology in Buckinghamshire.


Go back to find other ways you can get involved in archaeology.