Archaeology Student Reports

This page is where you will find reports and photos from participants about their experience on our Archaeology placements.

Placement: Italy Host: Etruria Nova Onlus

Joanne Stavert, 2018 participant

“During my training period abroad i learnt how to conserve and record fresco’s in Italian. this included how to spot different types of preparation which are found under the fresco and distinguish between the different styles of fresco in order to record the details on context sheets, which was all hand written in Italian. I have now attained much knowledge in fresco conservation and am confident in being able to fill in context sheets plus all the key steps in the consolidation process. This really was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be involved in an excavation at Pompei and the skills I have gained will hopefully help towards my goal of working abroad.”

Alvin Chua, 2014 participant

“More experience in archaeological fieldwork. Be better at conducting archaeological fieldwork, especially pertaining the documentation process.”

Emma Gilhooly, 2014 participant

“Experience working in another country on an archaeological excavation. Experience adapting to living in a new place with different people.”

Timothy Penn, 2014 participant

“Do not expect Italian dig sites to conform to your expectations of how an excavation should operate; I had previously excavated once in the UK and four times in Italy and Etruria Nova is very thorough – unlike some other sites I’ve worked on – but it takes some getting used to their different way of doing archaeology. I swam in the sea most evenings, and explored the local area, by foot, using local trains or by hitchhiking. Locally, there are a number of archaeological sites including two medieval castles (at Policastro and Torre Normana) and a Roman Villa at Sapri (where I swam out to the remaining ruins of the Roman boat sheds and read my book). Etruria Nova also organised a number of cultural outings museums at Praia a Mare, Isola di Dino, Roccagloriosa and Paestum on weekends. I also independently traveled to Naples to visit Herculaneum and the National Archaeological Museum. When I wasn’t engaged in archaeological adventures, I read or socialised with my colleagues from the excavation as well as Italian locals, since I am a fluent Italian speaker.”

Shauni Brocklesby, 2013 participant

“The placement has benefitted my employability, experience and confidence to a very high degree. I am much more confident as a person and within archaeology theory and practice. It has been such an amazing experience that i am desperate to go again next year!”

Eleanor Dove, 2013 participant

“I have now gained extensive experience in working on an archaeological site. I had previously only worked on a cemetery and this new experience has broadened by knowledge considerably. I now understand about contexts and harris matrixs and how to take levels. These were areas not covered in my degree. I am now doing an MPhil and hope to return to Italy to work on the Etruria Nova projects. I have gained experience working abroad and now feel better equipped to look for employment abroad”

Jeremy Brown, 2013 participant

“After the Mobility, I now feel more confident in many archaeological processes and methods. I learnt about digging techniques, technical drawing and measuring, using a wide range of industry-specific equipment safely and accurately. Having gained this experience, I think I will be more able to understand academic writing which includes archaeology, and I will be better placed to handle and interpret historical artefacts. This will be useful since I would like to study for a Masters degree and work in a museum in the future. In addition, I am very happy at having had the opportunity to practise and improve my Italian.”

Placement: Romania Host: Satul Verde

Rosie Nye, 2017 participant

“The most important experience again has to be the archaeological excavation as it is extremely beneficial to both my degree and future employability. Although I was required to start early and work in 35-40 degree heat, I enjoyed every minute of working there. I cannot think of any specific positive aspects as I enjoyed the excavation as a whole immensely and would recommend it to other students”

Rachel Robertson

“The work we did was extremely enjoyable and we were encouraged to come forward with any special interests we might have, which the receiving organisation would try to accommodate; for me this meant I was able to work with human remains, which is the area I want to pursue in my future career. Overall, the receiving organisation were extremely welcoming and helpful and really went out of their way to help us out and make our time there so great”

Victoria Schollar, 2017 participant

“Working in Romania was so much fun, definitely an experience I would recommend to anyone, the archaeology side was hard work but worth it, and there was so much to see and so many places to travel that there was never a dull moment. Because of the heat (it hit the 40s one week) we usually started at 7am and finished by 1pm, we would then get a break for a few hours before working down at the lab from 5pm till 7pm; in the lab we would be doing anything from washing pot and/or bone to piecing bits of pottery together, and analyzing human remains.

The lady in charge of our activities in Romania was lovely and approachable and made it as easy as possible for us to go on trips, we went on one each weekend. We went to castles and museums, and even a salt mine with an underground Ferris Wheel, it was so much fun; we even met Dracula! We went on a couple of trips with other students who were there, art students, and made lots of friends that we still all talk to, including volunteers not just from Grampus but also who came over to work on the site under their own steam.

This was an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone who wanted any experience at an archaeological site or in a lab; I would definitely do it again.”

Christina Lundberg, 2015participant

“The receiving organisation (Satul Verde) was unknown to me when signing up for this student mobility opportunity. Satul Verde turned out to provide the best placement I have ever been on. Very well organised, and as it turned out half way through my placement, they were flexible and willing to adapt the originally agreed plans, in order to accomodate my further cooperation with Universitatea 1 Decembrie 1918, Alba Iulia, which carried out the archaeological excavation I took part in. The university and excavation staff welcomed me into their team. My work with the university staff led to wider assignments in assisting with the English in papers for publication, and there are plans for further cooperation in the future. This has been a very valuable professional experience for me, and I believe, equally beneficial to the Universitatea 1 Decembrie 1918.”

Jennifer Osborne, 2015 participant

“The receiving organisation (Satul Verde) was fantastic in providing us with information during our drive to the first part of our placement in Romania. Everything was well organised, the accommodation was exactly what we needed during our stay. The excavation itself was amazing; our site supervisor Calin was outstanding. The effort that Calin went to to make sure that we enjoyed our time in Alba Iulia was over and above what we could have hoped for. The accommodation provided at the second part of our placement was also very good, although it could have benefitted from more frequent access to a washing machine considering the placement we were on was archaeological excavation. Apart from that, there were no problems. The team at Zalau were also very welcoming and again I learned a lot from our three weeks of excavation with them. Overall, the entire two months placement in Romania was a fantastic experience, and I believe I have learnt a lot from those we met whilst we were there which have enhanced my skills in archaeology as well as other areas.”

Danielle Hill, 2014participant

“I learned the different techniques used to remove topsoil and how to use an automatic level. I also saw how different osteology labs are and how to record finds. All of these things will help me in my professional career and hopefully assist me in other excavations abroad. I often went to the university after working on site, or on Saturdays. I also visited museums, the citadel, and local nightlife. We had a great trip to the salt mines in Turda. I enjoyed walking around the city and around the mountains to see different sites. Everyone was very friendly and helpful. The city is very beautiful and there are lots to do, although many sites are over an hour bus ride out of Alba Iulia. The local food is delicious and everything you would find in a Tesco you can pretty much get in Kaufland, the main superstore. You are given utensils, pots and pans so there is no need to bring anything with you. You can also get lots of cheap, amazing pizza and even chinese food. A pub in the moat of the citadel even does karaoke Thursday and Friday nights”

Joel Fagan, 2014 participant

“I have gained experience in working with human remains, which has further increased my knowledge in object handling, something invaluable in becoming a curator. I have gained numerous contacts within Romania and England that could provide me with further employment in the future. I have understood to an extent a culture, which has impacted my view on Romania on the whole. There was a friendly atmosphere within the accommodation, which led to gaining numerous friends. I particularly went on many hikes with the site supervisor, Calin who had been absolutely fantastic with us, it was a real pleasure to have met him. The countryside around Alba was truly beautiful. The team at Alba are hard working and will always go out of their way to make you feel at home. They are incredibly knowledgeable and will teach you everything they can. I can call them friends and will love to see them again.”

Hannah Pighills, 2013 participant

“I have gained so much more confidence in myself and in my own ability as an archaeologist. I have also gained knowledge on European Archaeology. More importantly I have made some fantastic friends with the girls I was on the placement with and with Satul, Calin and Mihai. It has given me much more experience which will help when finding a job related to my field. Moreover, I was invited back to Alba Iulia by Mihai and Calin to help out in a Conference at the University, so I have more contacts within the academic world. We explored Alba Iulia and the amazing pubs and restaurants. We were also taken by Satul to local villages and towns for craft fayres, festivals and to explore. In addition, Calin took us on walks around the surrounding countryside. Advice to others would be to take advantage of the fantastic opportunity and to get involved with the Romanian culture.”

Sara Anderson, 2013 participant

“I feel that this experience has extremely enriched my personal life as I love learning about different cultures and I would be very inclined to visit Romania multiple times in the near future. This experience also allowed me to meet some amazing new people who I am now good friends with. This experience has impacted my profesional life as I have discovered that I very much enjoy the archaeological area more than I thought I would. I am heavily thinking of doing a MSc which is closer related to this field. For future participants, I would encourage you to get immersing yourself in the culture by trying local cuisines and taking part in different traditions. Make sure you are fully prepared for the heat and that is always helpful to bring your own equipment such as a trowel.”

Laura White, 2013 participant

“It is an incredible opportunity and should not be missed. Anyone who is wary or worried about travelling away to work should have no worries when it comes to this organisation as everything was taken care of more or less, there were very few if any problems and always help to be had from the host organisation. It truly felt like being with family: the other participants and those who were helping with the host organisation. This Mobility has given me further skills within an archaeological excavation and more techniques I can use on future digs. I think the excavation in Romania had better techniques in comparison to the excavations I’ve been on in Wales. This placement has also given me new contacts and great friends within Romania and elsewhere in the world.”

Carolina Ferreira, 2012 participant

“I have developed practical skills in archaeological excavation, finds processing, analyses of skeletal remains, and understanding of ceramic reconstruction. such skills and experience will benefit in my applying for archaeology-related jobs specifically relating to fieldwork, as well as providing me with new skills that i will be able to apply in both my job and future academic career. the mobility abroad has affected me also on a personal level by introducing me to a world of opportunities, to the beginnings of understanding and appreciating a different culture, and providing me with the incentive to look for work abroad.”

Kirsty McLeod, 2012 participant

“Apply for a Mobility placement, it has got to be one of my the best experiences ever!!  Do not be afraid to show off any skills/training that you have acquired at university, places such as Romania have limited access to professional help and support and will always value your help and advice!”

Placement: Slovakia Host: Ipel Union

Jake Minton, 2018 participant

“A fantastic experience all round. Not only did this placement improve my archaeological knowledge but it gave me more confidence in my abilities and granted me the chance to meet new people and make new friends. I don’t see how it could have been improved.”

Alfred Black. 2017 participant

“I learnt a vast amount about archaeology in the field as it was my first dig, hence I learnt many techniques and equipment skills. I also gained skills in communication as I was required to work with students from the University of Bratislava and whilst they spoke good English, communication could be a struggle. The key experience that I will take away with me is spending a month in foreign countries with 6 other people and enjoying it to the fullest extent.”

Ophelia Maxwell, 2017 participant

“Living and working with the same people 24/7. We learnt how to live and work together and how to distribute different responsibilities, solve disagreements and cook and clean together. We were sharing rooms and had one bathroom between all of us which meant that we were living in very close proximity. It was a positive as we were such close friends by the end but a negative as there was almost no privacy. It was also great to travel to nearby towns at weekends and visit the other archaeological sites and Grampus heritage sites that our supervisor took us to. He would always do his best to explain what was going on at each site. It also gave me an opportunity to be independent in a foreign country and to understand the different ways of transport with a language barrier, which taught me to be very patient and to plan ahead. I loved working with other foreign students and to keep in contact with them in the future.”

Katie McCutcheon, 2017 participant

“Working and communicating with people who spoke another language and come from another culture, this is the most important as it allowed us to cultivate relationships and to respect and understand all the differences between our land and culture, and allowed us to really get to grips with the type of archaeology and methods used with in the Slovakian culture.”

Emily Morris, 2013 participant

“I felt that the experience of working abroad has given me a completely different experience to working in the UK and I feel that this experience my help in my favor when it comes to applying for a job in commercial archaeology. It was a wonderful experience and truly worthwhile doing. I learn’t many new techniques and it was fantastic to work in another country. In my free time I relaxed at the accommodation, and on a few of the free weekends we made trips to some of the surrounding cities, inckuding Vienna, Bratislava, Esztergome and Budapest. We also made a trip with our host organiser Tibor to a few local museums.”

Chloe Dyche, 2013participant

“The experience I got from this programme will greatly improve my CV when applying for future jobs and I have learnt many new skills and the basics of two languages. We either spent our time around the pool at the Vyskovce nad Iplom accommodation or went on excursions, these included: Bratislava, Budapest, Vienna, Sturovo and Esztergom.”

Jennifer Clifton, 2012 participant

“The benefits I have gained from my mobility abroad include the knowledge that I can work in a team with people I had no prior knowledge about and achieve the tasks set. It has also given me the confidence and possibly the chance to be able to work aboard in the future. Having had this opportunity to work abroad I would seriously consider looking for a job and living abroad once I graduate. I think it has also proved to me that sometimes I need to be more open minded about the ways in which different people approach tasks in a different manner but still achieving the same result. During our free time we travelled to Budapest, Prague, Slovensky Raj national park, Bratislava, Bojnicy, Banska Stiaunica and Visegradi (Hungary). At weekends we stayed in backpacker accommodations, of which there seem to be plenty in Slovakia and Hungary. Free time during the week was spent socializing in our accommodation or at the local pub at the end of the street. If the weather was very hot we went swimming in the local river, the locals were helpful at indicating the best and safest area for swimming.”

Jessica Went, 2012 participant

“My understanding of archaeological excavation and recording has been very much enhanced during the placement and  reports I write on the placement will contribute to my degree. After work we would often relax, visit the internet cafe etc. At weekends we got to really experience the culture and heritage of the area, visiting lots of castles, places of historical interest and a medieval festival, all of which contributed to a very rounded experience and understanding of the archaeology and development of the area. We also visited places such as Slovenski Raj National Park, Bratislava, Vienna, Prague and Budapest which were all great experiences.”

Placement: Bulgaria Host: Rousse Museum

Lily Hayward, 2018 participant

“The opportunity to excavate human remains was a very important and positive experience as it gave me practice in a field that I’m interested in pursuing in my future career. I loved being able to experience life in another country and culture that is different to my own and that of many of the western European countries. I would love to visit Bulgaria again.” Lilly Hayward, Bulgaria

Nura Hassan, 2017 participant

“I worked as an Archaeological Assistant at the Cherven Excavation between July and August. Originally, we thought that we were excavating one of the outer  walls of the medieval city of Cherven, however, it was revealed to us during the first week that this space was a church. From the second week onwards, an extensive amount of frescos, red brick and pottery shards were found within the church walls. One of the moments of this trip that specifically resonate with me was excavating my first grave burial. The skeleton itself was in an odd position leaving the right side of the body less preserved than the left. Specific features such as the mandible and ribs were left in a bad state. Apart from these factors, the preservation of the skeleton was good.

The experience of excavating the skeleton helped me understand key terms and practices within archaeology such as health and safety, recording information and finds whilst onsite and technical drawing of the bones and skull.

This placement has enabled me to not only to work in a professional environment but to also adjust to life in a completely new setting and culture which it itself is exciting.”

Callum Knauf, 2017 participant

“I believe the most important experience from this mobility experience was learning how to work and interact with people from another country. One key positive from this experience is learning that it is possible to understand and interact with others despite some language barriers.”

Jaimelee Twigge, 2014 participant

“The Host organisation (Rousse Regional Museum of History) was incredibly welcoming. The Mobility abroad has helped tremendously with my confidence in undertaking new tasks in a professional enviornment; interacting in a team; and travelling abroad. I feel that I have gained new archaeological skills working in conditions that are different from University digs in the UK and can use my own initiative when working more fluently. I expect that I will become more competent professionally and will have a valuable experience to add to my CV. I also expect that on a personal level, I will be far more confident travelling, meeting new people and applying for opportunities outside my comfort zone.”

Carissa Beukes, 2014 participant

“This experience has offered me an opportunity to grow as an individual by introducing new cultures, languages, and a different way of life. In a professional sense, this experience has offered me the unique opportunity of branching out of my skill set and utilizing the skills and techniques studied in my course as well as learning new skills and methods. Try everything and anything. Its a beautiful country filled with wonderful people. Cherven is a fantastic site to work on and Bulgaria is a truly great country to work in. Open your mind to the possibilities and great things will happen!”

Emily Bowyer, 2013 participant

“I have gained a lot from the mobility abroad. I have gained a great deal more knowledge about medieval Bulgaria as well as learning much about modern Bulgaria and its culture. The mobility has given me a great deal more confidence and I believe that this as well as the knowledge that I have gained will help me to get a job.  Take plenty of suncream and insect repellent as they like foreign blood! Also take a hat and drink plenty of water. Bulgaria is a very relaxed country and remember to take this into account when digging there as it is likely to be very different to excavations in the UK.”

Robin Charnley, 2013 participant

“This experience has first of all really helped consolidate my existing fieldwork experience and built on those skills. It has also added another country to my list of excavations and therefore has been an asset to my CV and has no doubt aided me in getting my first archaeological job which I start later this month, so participating in this experience has been a huge professional benefit to me! As for the personal aspect my horizons have been significantly widened, not just to the wealth of amazing material culture Bulgaria has to offer (of which I was previously unaware) but also to a country and people who I knew very little about. I now feel I have a greater understanding of that part of Europe, which was something I never possessed before and feel that Bulgaria is often unfairly stereotyped in the British press and is a much more advanced and beautiful country than people realize.”

Alice Williams, 2012 participant

“I learned a lot about Bulgaria as a country, how archaeology can be done and the role it has in Bulgarian society. This certainly gave be a broader understanding and appreciation of archaeology both in Britain and worldwide. I think this experience will impact how I view and work with archaeology in the future for the better.”

Placement: Cyprus Host: Akrotiri Environmental Centre

Adam Klups, 2013 participant

“The placement shows my involvement in professional projects abroad and will surely be a valid point on my CV and something that I will talk about when applying for a new job. Most importantly, I was also invited by the site director to return to Cyprus in the next season as a researcher, which illustrates how useful this opportunity has been for me.”

Karen Courtney, 2013 participant

“This was a fantastic experience, on a brilliant site. Being thrown in with a group of people who don’t know each other can be a challenge, but be prepared to compromise, and if you need time to yourself, don’t be afraid to take it. I have gained in confidence and archaeological ability, especially regarding different practices and techniques employed in different countries and environments. I gained an understanding of the approach towards archaeology and the attitudes within Cypriot archaeology. I anticipate that this experience will increase the likelihood of my finding a practical job within archaeology, and boosting my CV in terms of demonstrating my confidence and adventurousness.”

Christopher Simmons, 2012 participant

“I now have a better understanding of how Cypriot Archaeology works and I have a renewed interest in an archaeological career. I enjoyed it so much and the people there were so friendly that I am planning to save up and return next year as an self-financed volunteer.”

Joel King, 2012 participant

“There are many benefits I have/will receive from my placement. The experience alone was one which I will always appreciate. I consider it a great opportunity to be involved in a subject I love in such a fantastic environment. The Department of Antiquities and their representatives were nothing but helpful, and made the experience all the more enjoyable. It has further encouraged me to keep pursuing a career in archaeological excavation. In regards to the professional impact, I have no doubt that to be involved in such a programme will be of great help, showing an experience which of obvious benefit in applying for positions in the subject. In our free time we took the opportunity where possible to visit various different places of interest, such as archaeological sites, monasteries and city visits. When we weren’t on an excursion we spent time in Akrotiri mostly visiting local beaches for the afternoon.”

Victoria Lockwood, 2012 participant

“I would definitely recommend going on a GRAMPUS dig. It was great fun and will remember it for a very long time! I have met some great people who I hope that I will remain friends with for a long time. It was a great way to gain some archaeological experience, and even better that it was in the sun! It was great to experience a different culture and meet lots of interesting people.”

Placement: Finland Host: Kierikki Stone Age Centre

Jasmine Savill, 2018 participant

“I greatly enjoyed working at the stone age village on projects in addition to the excavation work. The variety of skills we were learning and work we were doing made the placement a lot more fun. I feel that if the placement was just excavating every day for a month that the placement would have been a lot less fun. I thought that the experimental projects and reconstruction work were extremely interesting and taught us more of a range of different skills as well as being fun to work on. The occasional day trips out were also great and I loved that we were able to see and experience so much. Another good element was that we were able to work independently using our initiative quite a bit so we had quite a bit of control over what projects we worked on. This helped me feel more responsible and like a professional.”

Richard Sandiford, 2018 staff participant

“The staff and management at the receiving organisation, despite being extremely busy during the run up to and during the Stone Age market, where immensely welcoming, knowledgeable, helpful and friendly.”

Rachael Holmes, 2017 participant

“My placement in Finland provided me with hands on experimental archaeological experience that I hope to pursue further. Expertly guided by Joni Karjalainen and Antti Palmroos I was able to learn how to use new tools and practice ancient technological techniques. I would highly recommend this placement for anyone interested in this aspect of archaeology as you are able to train as part of a relaxed and knowledgeable team. With regards to the excavation this placement would suit someone who is new to applied archaeology or someone who wishes to learn a different form of excavation than the British method. Practical work is complemented with lectures provided by the senior team members and are highly informative about the Neolithic period in the Northernmost reaches of Europe and how Kierikki fits in with this narrative. The end of the placement coincided with the Stone Age Centres “Ancient Market”, a weekend event enabling the public to take part in a diverse range of craft skills and watch theatrical performances. As part of this event everyone dressed in the centres array of “Neolithic Style” clothing and guided visitors in these activities. The market was a highlight of the trip. In addition to the work involved with the placement, I also learnt a lot during leisure time. The first weekend of arrival a trip had been arranged around Northern Finland of which included many museum and national park visits as well as a short trek to Varikallio, a breath-taking rock art site. During the evening and other free weekends we were free to explore the local area on bikes that we had been provided as well as make use of the hand built canoes and equipment down in the Neolithic Village.”

Sarah Walters, 2017 participant

“I believe the best experiences were the fact that I headed out to Finland on my own and meeting everyone over there, this made me grow as a person. Also, the independence of getting to and from places and managing money was necessary. We had to fit in washing and cooking swell, making planning essential. Also, l will use all of the experimental archaeology tasks back in the UK as part of my course. The lack of communication between the areas was next to none, this made it difficult to organise where we were the next day. However, this was easily overcome.”

Jeremy Hallatt

“The aim of the excavation was to excavate a Stone Age dwelling before we returned home and to thatch as much of the reconstruction dwelling as was possible. The project was successful in that it achieved both of the above aims during the duration of my stay. The dwelling in trench A was fully excavated and recorded and filled in before we left and we managed to thatch as much of the roof as possible. The whole experience for me has been very worthwhile in that before I came on the project I did not know exactly what I wanted to do with my career. This project has given me a greater insight into life as an archaeologist and I now know that I want to be in this sector of work. I came into the project with an open mind and I have learnt skills in how to thatch a roof, draw and record finds, flint Knapp and also using the Finnish method for excavation. Kierrikki certainly has a good future as there are plenty of dwellings to excavate it would be interesting to come back in a few years and see what has been discovered. I never expected to find a quartz scraper or to be in a newspaper and TV or try so much experimental archaeology this truly has been an enlightening experience for me and I would recommend it to anyone.”

Placement: Germany Host: Bildungshaus Heideland HVHS

Scott Morton, 2017 participant

“During my stay I was responsible for excavating known sites of archaeological importance and collecting as many finds from recorded features as possible before construction work scheduled to take place ruined them and they were lost to the archaeological record. I was also responsible for processing and recording finds as post excavation tasks as well as gaining experience from shadowing archaeologists who survey sites where construction is planned to see if there is anything worth recording and what is deemed important to do. The key experiences of this mobility have been understanding the commercial archaeology sector and what is likely to be expected of me should i follow this as a career path which is the largest possibility for those graduating and seeking employment as an archaeologist. working abroad has opened my eyes up to the way in which education can allow me to travel and face and meet new challenges of working abroad and given me the confidence to believe this is something that i could do.”

Hugo Kesterton, 2017 participant

“I worked on 3 different archaeological sites. One was located in a small town called Dornburg, one was in a forest in Marienborn, and one was in Magdeburg. This gave me experience with working for a professional archaeological company, rather than with amateur groups or through my university, as well as experiencing working with new archaeological conditions such as the type of soil (sand on one site, and very hard clay on another), and working by active construction work. I also processed archaeology finds, allowing me to better understand how they are used one being excavated and seeing which ones are most useful.

I improved my excavation technique, allowing me to excavate faster and more efficiently, and I learned how to properly record archaeological finds. I also learned how to properly process archaeological material after excavation. Additionally, I gained experience in how to travel and live in Germany.

The key experiences that I will take away from this are the process of working on a professional site, and working with a far greater degree of autonomy than I have done with previous placements.”

Placement: Portugal Host: Associação Cultural, Desportiva e Recreativa de Freixo de Numão

William Lewis, 2018 participant

“The placement was well organised and well managed credit to the supervisors who were always helpful and informative, I always had something interesting to do whilst on site. Everyone was friendly including the hosts, the supervisors and the students. There were no real negatives of the experience that I can think of.”

“I have improved my excavation technique using hand tools as well as techniques specific to the environment such as brushing. I have also learnt a lot about the site and the Chalcolithic /Bronze age period which I have never studied in much detail. The key experience I will take away from my placement will be digging in an unfamiliar environment and the opportunity to experience different ways of doing things using different techniques. Also, the culture shock of living in such an untouched area of Portugal was unforgettable.”

Jessica Domiczew, 2017 participant

“I can only say good things about the mobility experience. When I had a problem, the hosts both in the UK and Portugal were there to help and they made themselves very easy to approach. The site was amazing and we were provided with all the right equipment and the hosts ensured we were okay and made sure we were applying suncream, not forgetting to drink and we were able to go to shade when required. The hosts asked us questions and our opinion on what we were excavating and they made it easy for us to express what we thought as they did not make us feel silly if what we said was wrong. The hosts were also eager to teach us more and help us in any way possible. This was also the case at the museum.

Most important experiences were the people I got to meet, the chance to recognize that i should have a little more faith in my decisions. I also think the information and talks the hosts gave were crucial in this placement as I have a better understanding of the period and of the site I worked on.

I would highly recommend this placement to anyone. To me, the people I were with and the hosts I had made the experience that extra bit special.”

Placement: Cyprus Host: Kato Drys Community Council

Sophie Martin, 2017 participant

“In a group, we have excavated and surveyed two different sites which are important to the local history of the region. Personally, I have learned how to work in a different style than I was used to which has enhanced my understanding for the ways in which different projects are organised. This training period has taught me how to work effectively in a small team while contributing to and integrating with a local community. There are many aspects of this training project that I have acquired new skills from; site surveying with drone use, community archaeology, team cooperation and the ability to help with decisions made during the project. It was a valuable experience and one that I have thoroughly enjoyed and would highly recommend.”

Stephen Huang, 2017 participant

“The key experiences I will take away would be the believing to have found the floor of Apliki church but instead finding another wall, successfully using the drone to capture pictures and videos for the first time as well as being able to create a usable calcic lime solution and adequate adobe bricks to be used in the restoration of the church walls.

I felt that I had a great relationship with the other trainees and the employees, that we got on and worked well together. I quickly got used to the everyday life, with the only problem being that the temperature peaked around 12pm-1pm, making it too hot to continue working and thus having to stop for the day. (we changed the work schedule to start at 6/7am instead of a 9am start in order to do more before it got too hot).”

Maria Yordanova, 2017 participant

“The mobility experience gave me the opportunity to experience a new country and its culture. It also allowed me to gain new skills in archaeology and some traditional skills as well. The only draw backs of the program were the heat and insects, but only sometimes.”

Placement: Bulgaria Host: Devetaki Plateau Association

Fern Gleeson, 2017 participant

“Living with complete strangers for a month in a foreign country taught me a lot about myself and working with others. The whole experience gave me alot more confidence, not just in terms of practical archaeological skills, but also in terms of coping with new and challenging situations. It made me even more determined to work abroad after my degree and showed me that I could do it.

Overall, this placement was one of the best and most rewarding experiences of my life, and I’m very grateful to Erasmus+ for giving me the opportunity to do it.”

Luke Gent, 2017 participant

“During my training period abroad, I was able to refine my core skills as an archaeologist regarding hand tool use (trowel, spade, wheelbarrow), artefact recovery & storage. As well as secondary skills as finds processing and excavating skeletons. These can be reflected in my signed Archaeology Skills Passport. I gained knowledge in Balkan history, especially in the regions of Troyan and Sevlievo. This knowledge was learned whilst working at the Troyan Museum, excavating Hotalich in Sevlievo and visiting many historical sites whilst travelling between Troyan, Kramolin, Sevlievo and Sofia.

New skills would be language and social skills i.e. learning Bulgarian phrases whilst we were staying there from our language tutor that was hired for us.

Also phrases and common gestures, manners etc learned from the locals that we talked too, and we were able to have discussions with them because of our mutual understanding of the English language, as well as some words/phrases in Bulgarian that helped us ‘break the ice’ with conversations.

Key experiences would be working abroad for the first time as a representative of my university as well as my country; including communicating with inhabitants of another country. All of which was extremely beneficial as a cultural and educational experience”

Lucie Lollkova, 2017 participant

“I have worked alongside the local museum staff in the collections of the Troyan Museum of Crafts and Applied Arts, cleaning and cataloguing textile and ceramic artefacts. During he following week, I helped with cleaning the archaeological site of Gradat, where we focused on improving the accessibility of the site and making signposts for visitors. Finally, I have worked for two weeks under the supervision of Nadezhda Boteva, the local archaeologist, excavating a 13th century necropolis located on the site of the Hotalich medieval town, near Sevlievo.

I have acquired experience and skills in excavating a type of an archaeological site that was completely different from those I have worked on before.

Excavating a medieval necropolis provided me with the opportunity to learn how to excavate skeletal remains and also handle bronze and glass artefacts.

I was also able to make many amazing friends and learn a great deal about the history and culture of a different country. Being in such a different environment and working on challenging projects has also helped me to gain more confidence in my skills and abilities and I feel more confident when thinking about applying for future placements and internships.”

Placement: Santorini Host: Hellenic Culture Centre

Heather Para, 2018 participant

“The key experiences for me were working alongside archaeologists in Greece to learn how they cope with their vast history and the volume of material culture it produces. Identifying pottery and working on a pre Roman dig were the most significant experiences for me professionally. I also found the cultural visits to villages, churches, and so on to be profoundly interesting.”

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission

This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.