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Archaeological Opportunities

We welcome all volunteers regardless of background and often no previous experience of archaeology is necessary, as onsite training courses are run every week during the excavation, as well as a wide array of other specialised training courses.

Our ongoing excavation focus is on a complex of Anglo-Saxon malting houses, located to the east of the previously excavated settlement, within Chalkpit field. Our research on this particular site has been ongoing since 2013 and is now beginning to produce a remarkable insight into how these rare features within the Anglo-Saxon period would have functioned.

In addition to our main excavation, we also undertake several smaller evaluation excavations each season. You can read more about our ongoing excavations on our blog.


There are several ways in which you can participate in one of Britain’s leading archaeological research and training excavations.

Excavation Volunteer

We welcome excavation volunteers with at least three weeks' excavation experience, or who have previously attended our one-week Basic Excavation & Recording Techniques (BERT) course at SHARP, or equivalent course elsewhere.

If you have no previous experience then it is a requirement to enrol on and complete the BERT course, after which you are welcome to stay on as an excavation volunteer for the cost of facilities only.

You can book as an excavation volunteer here.

Non-Excavation Volunteer

We appreciate that there are many people who would love to join us but cannot or do not wish to, dig. There are many non-excavation activities on site to get involved in, including cleaning and sorting finds, environmental processing, and post-excavation work.


NB: please check before applying, as some of these activities are dependent on the research taking place at the time. 

You can book as a non-excavation volunteer here (select your excavation preference when booking).

Human Remains Volunteer

Work with the Human Remains (HR) Team and other HR volunteers onsite at Sedgeford. This opportunity is open to those who have previously completed a Human Remains course with SHARP (either an onsite or off-site course), or equivalent course elsewhere.


Examples of work that may take place:

  • Recording of disarticulated human bone.

  • Data checking of articulated skeleton recording.

  • Dental and pathology data entry from skeletal records.

  • Investigation of groups of burials with respect to intercutting and disarticulated bone.

  • Scanning and cataloguing of photographs from the 1996 – 2007 excavations, donated by volunteers who took part in the excavations.

  • Photography of skeletal remains for monograph publication and development of an online HR course.

If you have no previous HR experience, it is a requirement to enrol on SHARP’s off-site course (Gloucester venue) before coming to SHARP as a HR volunteer. You can find information on SHARP's HR course here.


In addition to excavation opportunities, we run a number of training courses. Some are full, week-long courses providing in-depth practical training, and others are shorter, more topic-specific day courses. The courses we offer can vary from year to year, as we are dependent on which course providers from our team are available each season. Equally, some courses we run throughout the season and others are one-off annual events. Please see our Courses page for details on course dates and availability.

Courses on offer for our 2023 season include:

  • Basic Excavation and Recording Techniques (BERT)

  • Introduction to Human Skeletal Remains: Osteoarchaeology Investigations (off-site course)

  • Ancient Craeft and Techniques 

  • Archaeometallurgy (day course)

  • Anglo-Saxon Sedgeford in its Wider Context (day course)

  • Dig for a Day

  • Cremation and Cremated Remains in Archaeology (online course)

For more information on our courses and how to book, visit our Courses page.

Weekly Charges

These prices relate to excavation, non-excavation, and human remains volunteers. Prices for courses will vary and can be found on our individual course pages.


Volunteer rate for 6 days of excavation with lunch, use of facilities, and Tuesday evening lecture admission included - £160


Onsite camping space and use of shower facilities for a week - £50


All onsite meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and all evening entertainment for a week - £50


Please note that the volunteer only rate includes lunch onsite, drinks, and admission to our Tuesday night lecture (if you wish to attend), but does not include accommodation or breakfast/evening meals. If you wish to camp onsite during your stay, and/or eat breakfast and dinner onsite, please select these options when making your booking.

Visit The Experience section for information about life onsite, what to bring with you, and FAQ's

SHARP offers financial support for excavation and our courses through the John Hensby Bursary. For more information please visit The John Hensby Fund.

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