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University Centre Northampton students get down to earth to uncover local village's Roman past

Students laboured in hot sun and heavy rain to uncover the remains of this very interesting rural villa complex, which includes a very well-preserved bath-house complete with surviving hypercaust system, situated in a quiet spot on the hillside just above the Northampton village of Nether Heyford.

Archaeology has really taken off this year at the University Centre in Barrack Road, Northampton, with the summer term culminating in a week-long fieldwork skills programme at Whitehall Farm Roman Villa in the first week of July. 


Harold Finn and Mary Dunkeley
DOWN TO EARTH: University Centre Northampton students Harold Finn and Mary Dunkeley helping to uncover local village's Roman past.
Stephen Young, Director of Excavations, made the week a very informative one in terms of local landscape development, and the Lifelong Learning students mingled with other undergraduates from Leicester as well as those from other institutions across the UK. Together with additional volunteers from the locality, a total in excess of 50 people took part in this exciting and important local community archaeological project. bath house complex
Excavation Director Stephen Young with student volunteers in the bath house complex.

Activities included excavation techniques, surveying, finds analysis and archaeological drawing skills, all under the supervision of Kate Brimblecombe, who has been running an introductory course in archaeology at Barrack Road since September 2001 and is the new Course Director for the Certificate of Higher Education in Archaeology which will be running at the Centre from the Autumn.

INSIGHT ON SITE: (left to right) 
Summer School student Linda Lewcock, 
Supervisor Dave Hayward, and 
Archaeology Tutor Kate Brimblecombe

Said Kate: "When the course was finished, the students told me that they had had a very good grounding in the basics of field archaeology, and plenty of opportunity
to get the feel of it. They all came away from the week feeling that they understood the basics of a dig and what you have to do on one. They had gained valuable insight into the problems and pitfalls af archaeology, and the need for patience and scrupulous good practice, careful observation and methodical approach. As one student said: 'On the whole I learnt as much as I could hope to learn in a week, and came away feeling I had actually done some real archaeology.'

"This is an excellent lead which students can take into the Certificate in Higher Education, as it shows them the practical realities of archaeological problem-solving, and feeds into the wider theoretical issues which are taught in the lecture room."

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Last updated: 23 August 2002 15:55
Created by: Rachel Tunstall
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