A new company is offering the opportunity for amateur archaeologists to learn hands-on skills and contribute to a professionally run archaeological research project. The “Udig” team includes names such as Derek Roberts who will be familiar to anyone who has previously participated in the MidNAG excavations at Nassington in recent years.

The new project is based in the grounds of Stanwick Hall which is located between Thrapston and Wellingborough. Building on previous trial trenching, the research excavation is expected to last several years and throw light on the evolution of the village of Stanwick from at least the late Saxon period through to the 18th and 19th centuries.

Participants will effectively be helping to “crowd fund” the initiative by signing up to dig for a period of at least a week (between May and September). Udig promise that you’ll learn all the basics of on-site archaeological processes from excavation through to post-excavation. This will involve getting your hands dirty in the trenches discovering finds, drawing and photography and helping to clean and record all finds from the excavation.

This kind of model allowing amateurs to participate in well resourced excavations is becoming increasingly common. Many FRAG members have participated in the SHARP excavations at Sedgeford in Norfolk. Others have joined the excavations organised by the Vindolanda Trust (Hadrian’s Wall) and by Dig Ventures (whose first project was at Flag Fen). Past to Present Archaeology is running a project focused on prehistoric societies in West Suffolk.