This years excavations are taking place with volunteers who have deferred their places from 2020. Due to the continuing uncertainty around the global pandemic the Trust have not opened new excavation applications for the 2021 excavations as they are fully booked by those deferring from 2020.

Excavation Protocols

Post-Excavation Protocols

Protocols for with the Archaeology Centre

Excavation protocols

  • On your first Monday of excavation, an induction talk will be given by a member of the archaeological team. Weather permitting, this will be held outdoors. If this is not possible, the excavation and post-excavation teams will be split into two groups, and have staggered induction talks inside the Robin Birley Archaeological Centre. On your first day, please congregate outdoors, at a safe distance from one another, in front of the Hedley Centre building. A member of the team will be on hand to welcome you from 9:10 to 9:30 when the Induction talk will begin. You will receive your excavation T-shirt. 
  • At the excavations, you will be issued with the excavation equipment you will be using for your two weeks on the excavations. It is your equipment for the duration to minimise sharing between excavators. Handles and other touch surfaces on tools and wheelbarrows will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised between excavation periods, and before they are assigned to the next volunteer.
  • It is important to respect other excavators’ space and to be mindful of how you go from A to B without crossing into others’ personal space.
  • Archaeological supervisors may ask you to step out of your space so that they can demonstrate a technique or inspect a trench or book an artefact.
  • You are not required to wear your mask while on the excavations and working. You will be separated from the public by a fence and we ask you to respect 1m distance with them.

Post-Excavation protocols:

  • Weather permitting, outdoor areas to process, wash bone and pottery will be used. 
  • Volunteers will be working at 2m apart from your post-excavation colleagues. If you require to be closer than that, you should wear a mask.
  • Once set up and at a workstation, and 2m apart, you may take off your mask.
  • You will be required to wear your mask when you are moving around the archaeological centre: e.g., to rinse your tools in the sink, to make yourself a cup of tea.
  • If you wish to use them, you will need to bring your own waterproof gloves with you.
  • You will be responsible for processing your own pottery and bone. We ask you not to share a bag or context with another member of the team.
  • We will ask you to clean the contact surfaces in the Archaeological centre (tables and equipment) with antiseptic wipes after each use. For example, you should wipe down your table and the sink after you have used them and before the excavation volunteers join you for lunch.
  • You will be asked to co-ordinate your breaks with the excavation volunteers. This means you will be allocated a time for tea break and lunch.
  • Supervisors will request that you wear a mask when they approach to examine your work or offer guidance. They will also wear their masks.

Roman Samian Ware pottery bowl or Terra sigilatta. Broken Sherds on site at Vindolanda

Robin Birley Archaeological Centre protocols:

  • Please wear your masks when entering the building.
  • You may only remove your mask when seated and at a safe social distance from others, for example once you have settled down for a break or lunch.
  • The building has facilities for hand sanitisation at the sink next to the main door, please make use of these when entering the building.
  • You must bring your own water bottle, coffee cup or flask and gloves for excavation.
  • You cannot share food, biscuits, or other items with other members of the team.

The measures are in place to protect you. We will remind you of them when you join us.