Digging Deeper to Access Cambridge

In collaboration with Ridley Hall and Homerton College, Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA) are offering sixth-form students with a rare opportunity to take part in an archaeological excavation in the heart of Cambridge this April. Ridley Hall, a theological training College, have planning permission for a new building in their grounds and have commissioned an archaeological investigation ahead of construction. The College is situated in an area of known Prehistoric, Roman and Anglo-Saxon finds, and excavations in the surrounding area have produced extensive evidence of domestic occupation as well as human remains.

Participants will be hosted by Homerton College, one of the largest Colleges of the Universtiy of Cambridge, who has a specific responsibility to work at raising the profile of the University in the following areas of London and South Yorkshire: Hounslow, Richmond, Kingston, Doncaster and Rotheram. Places will be available to Year 12 students attending state schools in these areas. Accommodation, meals and transport to and from site will be provided by Homerton College and participants will meet admissions staff to learn about applications, life and learning as an undergraduate at the University. Applicants will not be expected to demonstrate any prior interest or knowledge of archaeology but it will be important to have an enthusiastic and hard-working attitude to learning to take part in the excavation. The prospective students will take part in two of the eleven days on site, Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th April, arriving at Homerton College on the Sunday evening beforehand to meet one another and departing on the Wednesday having spent more time exploring Homerton.

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This will provide an invaluable experience for anyone interested in humanities and social science subjects including, but not limited to, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geography and History or anyone wanting an exclusive insight into University life in Cambridge ahead of making decisions about higher education. Participants will be working alongside University academics, students and archaeological professionals, and will be briefed on and involved in all aspects of the archaeological process including digging, sieving, finds washing and recording. ACA have experience of working with people who have special needs, disabilities and medical conditions so we can ensure special provisions are made if required.

In 2010, ACA led a highly successful excavation in the grounds of Newnham College for prospective students. A video of the participants and their finds can be viewed below and more can be read about the dig here.

For further details about application criteria and how to apply for a place on the Ridley Hall excavation, please contact Homerton College’s Schools Liaison Officer, Laura Carter on 01223 747293 or access@homerton.cam.ac.uk.

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