Between from 8th-15th March, four intrepid undergraduates and one enthusiastic doctoral candidate led by one mad post-doc will head to Exmoor National Park to undertake four days of field survey to support the archaeological analysis of airborne datasets such as lidar, near infrared imagery and aerial photographs. Exmoor National Park is located in the SW of England approximately 3.5hrs drive from London. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty and great archaeological importance. The field trip during spring break will allow the students to experience this special place first hand as well as complementing their in-class studies of prehistoric British site and landscapes.

Spring Fieldwork Locations

We will engage in four days of field work comprising walkover survey of three separate areas within the National Park. Students will be expected to participate in the identification, recording and interpretation of features within the landscape. 

The trip will build on the results of a desk based GIS assessment of the area undertaken in the first part of the semester, where students identified potential archaeological features based on historic mapping, aerial photographs, archive materials and digital terrain models. These features will be visited and surveyed, allowing the students to record additional details to compile into the project GIS on their return. The fieldwork will allow students to take their newly-learned analytical techniques off-the-page building confidence in their analysis of the evidence.

The broader experience includes an evening talk by Rob Wilson-North, the Conservation Manager for Exmoor National Park. On the last day in Exmoor we will visit the ENPA Historic Environment Record, students will also see how the archaeological data they collect in the field is curated and managed by archaeological professionals to inform planning and fit with the broader conservation aims of the national park. On the way to the fieldwork site, students will get the opportunity to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stonehenge and Avebury ( with a unique opportunity to be guided round the latter by Nick Sashnall, the National Trust archaeologist responsible for this globally important prehistoric landscape. On the return journey the students will also experience a second World Heritage Site, the city of Bath.

Student participation in this work has been made possible by the David L. Paletz Innovative Teaching Funds for Spring 2013 (Duke University) and by Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership Scheme.

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Thanks are also due to Jacquie Haylett for allowing us to use her lovely holiday flats Bracken and Maxwelton in Porlock as our base for the week. Check them out at the links below:  or

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