Our project, Ice Age Island, is now in its 8th year and is run by archaeologists and scientists from leading UK institutions, supported by grad students and post-docs. In 2018 we are offering opportunities to learn about stone age archaeology, geoarchaeology and the prehistory of Jersey.
Bay Prehistoric: Neolithic Field School: A two week field school run with the Birkbeck University to take place in March next year. You’ll be working in Jersey’s beautiful St Ouens Bay just five minutes from ocean and the island’s best surf beaches. More importantly you’ll be working on intact prehistoric land surfaces preserved in soft dune sand preserving archaeology from the Mesolithic to the Early Bronze Age. We’ll be specifically targeting an area on the edge of a sand pit which has produced Early Neolithic evidence which is throwing light on the transition from hunting to farming in the Channel Islands and is giving us evidence of high status materials being traded with nearby France. The field school runs for two weeks and will familiarise you with excavation techniques, landscape archaeology and finds processing in a research-active teaching environment with a high staff to student ratio. Cost: £1250 for two weeks. Dates: March 2018 TBC BOOK
Ice Age Island: Upper Palaeolithic Field School: In August 2018 we’ll be continuing excavations at Les Varines, a Magdalenian settlement site approximately 14,500 years old. This exceptional site has yielded thousands of stone artefacts, preserved animal bone, pits, hearths, paved areas and, most exceptionally, engraved stones. These have recently gained international media attention and were featured in BBC2’s Digging for Britain. We have ten places on our 2018 Field School at Les Varines. You have a choice of two 2-week stays with us: Field Season Part 1 (15th-29th July 2018) or Field Season Part 2 (29th July – 12th August 2018), though participants are welcome to join us for the full 4 weeks of the season.
We provide camping accommodation with indoor eating and social space, all meals on working days provided by an experienced cook, transport to and from site and the airport / port as well as expert onsite tuition, evening lectures and tours of local prehistoric sites, including the ever-popular “Dolmens at Dusk” tour of the west coast of the Island. Key skills taught include excavation, recording, use of a total station, site taphonomy and artefact orientation, as well as finds processing and documentation: skills learnt in the field are reinforced with evening lectures providing a broader interpretative context to the skills learnt. Participants are provided with a BAJR skills passport to record and develop their training, and we are keen to support students from the project developing their careers in the broader heritage sector. Past students have gone on to work with the project as doctoral students, within museums, and in commercial archaeology, and many have continued to contribute to our ongoing research. Cost £1250 for two weeks. Part 1 (15th-29th July 2018) Part 2 (29th July – 12th August 2018) BOOK
Field School Content
During your time with us, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the basics of recognising, excavating and interpreting ice age archaeology and geology in the field, directly from team experts. Working alongside students from institutions including the University of Manchester and UCL, and instructed by our core team, there will also be opportunities to take part in site recording, landscape survey and our project finds lab. We run evening lectures from specialists on the project covering relevant topics as well as field trips to other archaeological sites and optional recreational activities.
About Jersey: Stunning Landscapes and Deep Prehistory
The Channel Island of Jersey is situated only 14 miles from the French Coast and is easily accessible from the UK or mainland Europe by air or ferry. Jersey is an English speaking island with a wide range of amenities. It’s a beautiful place to explore and enjoy, with stunning coastal landscapes and a fascinating history spanning everything from Neanderthal cave sites and Megalithic tombs through to Medieval fortifications and the remains of the World War II German Occupation. Saturdays are our day off and will give you time to explore the island but as part of the course we’ll also take you to some of the best locations as to enjoy the landscape and understand it’s ancient past.
Jersey’s unique position in the English Channel provides the perfect location to learn about the deep prehistory of both Britain and northern France. Jersey’s archaeological and historical sites, from Stone Age burial chambers to German wartime defences provide a great place to learn about 500,000 years 0f human history in an island only 9 miles wide.
Facilities and Costs
Accommodation is camping with access to clean, indoor WC/showering facilities, dining and socialising spaces. Meals are catered for by our project cook and pick up/ delivery to the airport is included. The total fee is £1250* (excluding travel costs to Jersey) and this covers two weeks of time with us.
If you are interested in joining us on Ice Age Island in the summer of 2018, please send a brief email providing a bit of information about yourself to Matt Pope (UCL Institute of Archaeology) at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In your email please specify whether you are interested in Field Season Part 1 (July 30 – August 13) or Field Season Part 2 (August 13th – August 30th) or whether you’d like to do both. A deposit of £250 secures you place on our Field School.
For more information about our project , please visit: https://iceageisland.wordpress.com/
*Equivalent to $1475 or €1322 at time of press.