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KAFS 2020 Course Diary

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EXCAVATING AT OPLONTIS NEXT TO POMPEII, ITALY - MAY/JUNE 2020

We will be back in Oplontis (left) in the first three weeks in May/June 2020 for another season of excavation but be quick as last year we were fully booked. And if you are booked the only criteria is that you are a member of the Kent Archaeological Field School and that you have some experience or enthusiasm for Roman archaeology, Italian food and Italian sunshine! See also the website for the project at www.oplontisproject.org. Please note food, accommodation, insurance, and travel are not provided. Please note food, accommodation, insurance, and travel are not provided.



Flights to Naples are probably cheapest with EasyJet. To get to Pompeii take a bus from the Naples airport to the railway station and then the local train to Pompeii. Hotels are about 50eu for a room per night. We are staying at are the Motel Villa dei Misteri and the Hotel degli Amici - info@villademisteri.it, info@hoteldegliamici.it. For camping the site Camping Zeus is next to the hotel: info@campingzeus.it and is about 12eu a night.Transport to Oplontis from Pompeii is not provided but most of the group use the local train (one stop). Please note it can be hot so bring sun cream and insect repellent! Any queries email me at info@kafs.co.uk or in Naples call my mobile on 07885 700 112. We will meet up at 8am every Monday morning of the dig at Motel Villa dei Misteri to start the new week.



Field Walking and Map Analysis May Bank Holiday Friday May 8th and Saturday May 9th 2020

Field work at its most basic involves walking across the landscape recording features seen on the ground. On this weekend course we are concerned with recognising and recording artefacts found within the plough soil. These include flint tools, Roman building material, pottery, glass and metal artefacts.

One of the uses of field walking is to build up a database for large-scale regional archaeological surveys. We will consider the importance of regressive map analysis as part of this procedure. The course will cover:

1. Strategies and procedures
2. Standard and non-standard line walking, grid walking
3. Pottery distribution, identifying pottery and building ceramics

We will be in the field in the afternoons so suitable clothing will be necessary. Cost £10 if membership is taken out at the time of booking. For non-members the cost will be £25.


Wye Roman Villa and Water mill: Friday 10th April to Sunday 19th April 2020

Archaeological excavation on the site of a recently discovered Roman Villa and water mill at Wye in Kent.



On this ten day investigation we shall look at the ways in which archaeological sites are discovered and excavated and how different types of finds are studied to reveal the lives of former peoples. Subjects discussed will include aerial photography, regressive map analysis, HER data, and artefact identification. Within this investigation there is a five day course from Monday 13th April to Friday 17th April which will be especially useful for those new to archaeology, as well as those considering studying the subject further. After tea break we will participate in an archaeological investigation on a Roman building under expert tuition. Expert diggers are not required to participate in the tool box talks.

Cost for members is £50 for the week or £10 a day if membership is taken out at the time of booking. For non-members the cost will be £75 for the week or £15 a day.


Training Week for Students on a Roman Water Mill at Wye in Kent

t is essential that anyone thinking of digging on an archaeological site is trained in the procedures used in professional archaeology. Dr Paul Wilkinson, author of the bestselling "Archaeology" book and Director of the dig, will spend five days explaining to participants the methods used in modern archaeology. A typical training day will be classroom theory in the morning (at the Field School) followed by excavation at the Roman Water Mill at Wye.



Topics taught each day are:

Monday 13th April (Bank Holiday): Why dig?
Tuesday 14th April: Excavation Techniques
Wednesday 15th April: Site Survey
Thursday 16th April: Archaeological Recording
Friday 17th April: Small Finds
Saturday and Sunday: (free) digging with the team.

A free PDF copy of "Archaeology" 3rd Edition will be given to participants. Cost for the course is £100 if membership is taken out at the time of booking plus a Certificate of Attendance. The day starts at 10am and finishes at 4.00pm. For directions to the Field School see 'Where' on the KAFS website.


Excavating at 'Villa B' at Oplontis next to Pompeii in Italy: 25th May to 19th June 2020

We will be spending four weeks in association with the University of Texas investigating the Roman Emporium (Villa B) at Oplontis adjacent to Villa A (left) next to Pompeii. The site offers a unique opportunity to dig on iconic World Heritage Site in Italy and is a wonderful once in a lifetime opportunity.

The only criteria to book is that you are a member of the Kent Archaeological Field School and that you have some experience or enthusiasm for Roman archaeology, Italian food and Italian sunshine! See also the website for the project at www.oplontisproject.org. Please note food, accommodation, insurance, and travel are not provided.

Flights to Naples are probably cheapest with EasyJet. To get to Pompeii take a bus from the Naples airport to the railway station and then the local train to Pompeii. Hotels are about 50eu for a room per night. We are staying at are the Motel Villa dei Misteri and the Hotel degli Amici - info@villademisteri.it, info@hoteldegliamici.it. For camping the site Camping Zeus is next to the hotel: info@campingzeus.it and is about 12eu a night.

Transport to Oplontis from Pompeii is not provided but most of the group use the local train (one stop). Please note it can be hot so bring sun cream and insect repellent! Any queries email me at info@kafs.co.uk or in Naples call my mobile on 07885 700 112. We will meet up at 8am every Monday morning of the dig at Motel Villa dei Misteri to start the new week. Email Paul Wilkinson at info@swatarchaeology.co.uk for further details.




September 5th to 13th 2020. Investigation of Prehistoric features at Hollingbourne in Kent

An opportunity to participate in excavating and recording prehistoric features in the landscape. The week is to be spent in excavating Bronze and Iron Age features located with aerial photography and geophysical survey.



Starry starry night......

The Roman city of Arelate, today known as Arles, France, was one of the most important ports of the later Roman Empire. After siding with Julius Caesar during his civil war against Pompey, the town was formally established as a Roman colony for Caesar’s veterans in 46 or 45 B.C. Strategically located along the Rhône River in southern Gaul, Arelate developed into such a major economic, political, and cultural center that it was referred to as the “little Rome of the Gauls” by the fourth-century poet Ausonius.



Today, the city’s left bank, which served as the Roman settlement’s civic and administrative heart, is strewn with the remnants of ancient monuments: a theatre, an amphitheatre, baths, and a circus. It has long been thought that the city’s right bank was far less developed in the early Roman period, only witnessing significant growth decades or centuries later. However, this perception of ancient Arles is beginning to change as an ongoing investigation uncovers parts of a wealthy Roman residential area, providing new evidence of the early development of Arles’ periphery and also revealing some of the finest Roman wall paintings found anywhere in France.



The Kent Archaeological Field School is planning to take a group of KAFS members by train from Ashford in Kent down to Arles and staying at a medieval hotel in the centre of Arles with day trips to Nimes, Pont du Gard, the Roman city of Glanum and lots lots more. To register your interest email info@kafs.co.uk for further detais. Price of the trip will be at cost.


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