Dig Guide

The Excavation

This excavation is run by a friendly and enthusiastic team of experienced archaeologists and volunteer diggers. After more than 13 years on this site, a substantial part of the 3rd-4th century villa has been excavated and we have completed an extensive geophysical survey of the surrounding landscape.

There are usually about 10-20 volunteers on site, with plenty to interest both new and experienced diggers. Basic training is provided, the site is a useful introduction to digging; all volunteers are encouraged to participate in a variety of on site activities including site recording and finds processing.

The excavation is open every Sunday from around the end of May to the end of July. Then after a break in August, open again in September and October. We arrive to set up at 10.30am and finish at 4.30 pm with a break for lunch at 1pm, please bring a packed lunch. Diggers can come for a half day.

Facilities and equipment

We can provide trowels and basic equipment but many Diggers will prefer to bring or eventually to purchase their own.

Sensible clothing and footwear should be worn. These include ‘stout’ shoes - no open toed sandals; a waterproof jacket for the odd shower; and for hot weather a hat, plenty of sun cream and drinking water. There is shelter on site if the weather is wet and some shade under a gazebo. Currently there are no toilets on site; the nearest facilities less than a five minute drive away. Anti tetanus immunisation is advisable for any form of digging when contact is made with the soil.

How to join SOAG

All regular volunteers are required to join SOAG and there is a small extra fee (details below), for all those who dig at the villa. Details of membership - benefits, fees and how to join SOAG -  can be found on the membership page.

How to book a place on the excavation

If you would like to join the digging team or have any questions please contact Hazel Williams, Project Director at villa@soagarch.org.uk. In addition to SOAG membership, there is a small Villa Digger's fee of £10 per season. This helps towards equipment and insurance costs for this long term project. Those digging occasional Sundays can pay £2 per day up to a max. of £10.

Non members may participate but if their attendance becomes regular it is suggested that they join SOAG (see above).

Volunteers of all ages and experience are welcome but those under 18 years must be accompanied and supervised by a responsible adult. (see also section below)

It is important to let us know in advance when you are available, our present limit is 20 diggers and we have many people wishing to take part.

Insurance, Health and Safety, and Child Protection

SOAG has policies in all these area. Click here for more details and if necessary seek the advice of the Project Director

Hazel Williams - Project Director