Cambridge, United Kingdom

British Archaeology

when 9 July 2012 - 7 August 2012
duration 5 weeks
credits 8 EC
fee EUR 5400

The Corpus Christi College Summer
School in British Archaeology provides in-depth teaching in all of the major periods of
British Archaeology within a European context and is taught by academic staff from Cambridge and affiliated academic institutions. The month-long summer school is based in the medieval setting of Corpus Christi College, founded in 1352, one of the oldest of the 31 historic colleges forming the University of Cambridge.

The program offers an exciting opportunity to study in England and will be of interest to students studying the social sciences and humanities, especially those with in interest in archaeology. The course also includes field visits in the company of experts to many famous and fascinating archaeological sites and students will have the opportunity to learn basic excavation techniques in the field. A limited number of spaces will also be available for those who wish to extend their stay and take part in a leading archaeological dig (at additional cost).

Any student attending this course can expect up-to-date teaching in archaeology, as well as making new acquaintances, both informally and professionally. It is anticipated that students will obtain eight credits for completing the course .

Course leader

Professor Sir Paul Mellars, PhD, ScD, FBA, FSA (Course Director, Palaeolithic) Katherine Boyle, PhD FSA (Co-director, Environmental & Economic) Sheila Kohring PhD (Method & Theory) Catherine Hills, PhD, FSA (Medieval) Grahame Appleby (Roman) Carol

Target group

Participation in the summer school is limited to undergraduate and graduate students of four-year accredited colleges or universities. Applicants should normally have a cumulative grade point average of B or better in their college studies

Course aim

The academic course has four principal components:

1. A series of 25 lectures and seminars given by academics covering the successive periods of British prehistoric and post-prehistoric archaeology, from the earliest settlement of Europe to the end of the medieval period ca.1500 ad. A further series of 8 lectures devoted to method and theory provide a basic structure for interpreting and contextualizing the chronological material. Each module will include a seminar on the topic and a practical aspect.
2. Field visits to the British Museum, Colchester, Sutton Hoo, West Stow and Headingham Castle are interspersed through the course. Shorter visits will be made to the medieval colleges of Cambridge, the collections of Fitzwilliam Museum (University of Cambridge), the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (University of Cambridge), and the unique collection of Anglo-
Saxon and early medieval manuscripts housed in the Parker Library of Corpus Christi College, which contain almost 25 percent of the world’s Anglo-Saxon manuscripts.
3. Tuition in practical excavation methods, techniques and research are provided at the site of Stapleford, including a research design practical and 2-days of test-pitting (Phase I/II excavation experience).
4. A four day study tour of Ancient Wessex (see below).

Some lectures will be at the weekends but time will also be allowed for individual study and exploration.
For 2012 an optional 2-week fieldwork extension is available, in which you will be able to take part in an important prehistoric archaeological excavation in the UK. The number of places is strictly limited to 4 so please contact us as soon as possible to receive further details.
Ancient Wessex Tour
In addition to the series of field visits closer to Cambridge, the Summer School incorporates a four-day excursion to the Wessex region of southern England. This area is home to many important and famous prehistoric sites including Stonehenge, Woodhenge and Durrington Walls, Avebury, West Kennet, Silbury Hill, Salisbury and Old Sarum.

Credits info

8 EC
For those wishing to take the course for credit from their home universities, performance in the course will be assessed on the three modes of examination: 1. A 3-hour Cambridge-style, essay-based exam. 2. 2 short written reports (excavation report and heritage/artifact analysis) 3. Essay paper (ca. 2000-words) on a topic of the student’s choice (guided by the course instructors) This paper will be due a month after the program ends. (note that completion of these assessments is not a requirement of enrolment and applies only to students participating for credit). It is anticipated that most American universities will accept satisfactory completion of the course as the equivalent of 8 credits in the American academic system. Note we cannot recommend credit for those who do not complete all parts of the course. Certificates substantiating the course content and recommending credit and, if relevant, the grades awarded, will be provided at the end of the course. Please note that neither Corpus Christi College nor the University of Cambridge is in a position to award academic credit, however all assessments are marked by Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge academic staff. It is up to you to ensure, preferably in advance, that your college or university will recognize such certification and award the suggested credits.

Fee info

EUR 5400: The price includes accommodation in single rooms at Corpus Christi College whilst in Cambridge, as well as shared accommodation on the Wessex field trip. It includes all meals, tuition, internet access, special University facilities and all field trips (including travel) and admission costs. The cost does not include travel to and from Cambridge, insurance, entertainments or other optional activities.


A number of part-scholarships of $1000 are offered by the ACE Foundation to students in genuine need of financial aid. A cumulative average of B-plus or better in college studies is a prerequisite for a scholarship. A letter of recommendation from a senio