Excavating in the Park

Why take part?

Why take part   Archaeology   New Skills   Outcomes


  • Cleaning findsArchaeology brings together a surprising number of activities and skills in very practical engaging ways. It can appeal to people with different interests and aptitudes, often very much to their surprise.
  • Archaeology is as active and accessible as participants are comfortable with, whether they are digging, shifting wheelbarrows of dirt, drawing a plan or sitting cleaning finds with old toothbrushes and lolly sticks.
  • Archaeological work can be social and team focused, or quiet and solitary, whatever suits. Given time, participants often bond with each other and the leaders, united by shared experience and interests. Everyone makes a valuable contribution, whatever tasks they take on, and so everyone is valued.
  • Archaeology is an interest that can be enjoyed as a professional or interested amateur, by people from 8 to 80. There is great potential for inter-generational activities and the cementing of communities of interest.
  • After the field school we will actively explore opportunities to build on the work done by groups and individuals.


  • Cleaning the moss from a gravestoneThe School focuses on real archaeological projects that contribute to our understanding of Scotland’s past.
  • The Field School design is informed by the experience of last year’s field school and running the excavation in Dunfermline Abbey Graveyard over the last three years for Dunfermline Young Archaeologists’ Club and is suitable for people aged 8 to adult;
  • Participants will work in small groups, guided and assisted by archaeology students with fieldwork experience (and others as necessary);
  • Participants will be encouraged to try:
    • Working with historical maps and documents, using originals, books and online material;
    • Field study – asking questions of and interpreting the landscape;
    • Field survey – measuring and recording using a variety of survey techniques;
    • Excavation – working to reveal and record features and recover artefacts that lie beneath the soil;
    • Finds processing – documenting, researching, cleaning, sorting and storing finds;
    • Public engagement – from talking to passers-by to writing entries for the project blog and contributing to an online exhibition.


    Pittencrieff HouseThe field school takes place in the heart of historic Dunfermline, in the green and pleasant surroundings of the old graveyard by Dunfermline Abbey and in the neighbouring Pittencrieff Park.