Taking Part


  • The discipline of archaeology brings together many different skills and curriculum areas in a very practical, applied manner. It appeals to people with a diversity of interests and abilities, often including folk who do not expect to be engaged.
  • Archaeology is as active and accessible as participants are comfortable with, from digging and moving wheelbarrows of dirt to sitting cleaning finds with cotton buds.
  • Archaeological work is very team focused. With enough time, project participants become communities held together by shared experience and interests. All contributions are necessary to success, everyone is valued.
  • Archaeology can be enjoyed as a professional or interested amateur, by people from 8 to 80. It carries strong potential for inter-generational activities and the cementing of communities of interest.


  • The 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 running the excavation in Dunfermline Abbey Graveyard over the last two years for Dunfermline Young Archaeologists’ Club and is suitable for people aged 8 to 18;
  • Participants will work in small groups of three, guided and assisted by two archaeology students (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 exhibition material for the new museum in Dunfermline.