Opportunity to dig at Northstowe alongside the Cambridge Archaeological Unit

From next week there is a free community excavation starting that will be taking place alongside archaeologists from the Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU) at the new town of Northstowe.

The community excavations at Northstowe will start on Monday 18th June 2018 at 9am and will run for five weeks until Friday 20th of July 2018. The dig is open to over 18’s only and there is no limit on the number of days you can participate, although the dig will run Monday-Friday only, there is no weekend work available. You will be working alongside professional archaeologists from the CAU as they continue to excavate Phase 2, which has found extensive archaeology mainly of Iron Age and Roman date.

There will also be an open day on Saturday 30th of June for members of the public (including children) to visit, with exhibitions of some of the finds, information, activities for younger visitors and tours of the current areas of excavation. More information on that will follow and you can read about last year’s open day here.

The goings on at last years open day at Northstowe
Some of the finds on display

The schedule for on-site work will be to arrive for 9am and the day will finish at 4pm. There will be a break for half an hour from 10.30am and an additional break for 45 minutes for lunch at 1pm. There is no opportunity to buy food at Northstowe, so please bring enough food/snacks, although there are shops in Longstanton village. Tea/coffee will be provided and there is fresh drinking water also available. It is advised that you should bring your own mug and water bottle.

Directions to arrive at Northstowe, from the the A14, is via School Lane, and from the north through Longstanton village, via the Old Oakington Barracks gate, on Rampton Road, CB24 3EN. You will need to stop and sign in at the security gate, who will have a list each day of who is attending the dig, from there you can follow the signs to the CAU compound, where there is plenty of parking.

There is also a CAU risk assessment that you will be required to read and sign on your first day on site, but there are also some health and safety guidelines below to read before you join the excavations.

2018 Cambridge University undergraduate training excavation at Northstowe
2018 Cambridge University undergraduate training excavation at Northstowe

If you would like to participate in the dig or for further information, please contact Catherine Collins at ACA on either 01223 761519 or via email on access@arch.cam.ac.uk. Places are limited and as stated above, you can attend the dig for as many days as you like, but please let us know beforehand what days you would like to attend. If you just turn up on the day, security won’t be able to let you in.


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