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Courses & Education


We run a variety of courses in geology and archaeology. These will be advertised on this website under 'Events'.
There will be day courses for the general public and also for professionals. The topics range from local geology & landscape, to stone identification, rocks & soils, finds identification, and archaeological techniques. All are excellent value for money.
Just e-mail us to reserve a place or query future dates.

Courses can be purchased as presents and an attractive card invite to the course is provided (marked as 'paid' but with no cost noted and with full course info). Dates may be exchanged for alternatives if not convenient.

Professional training courses

Chiltern Archaeology offers two training courses for professionals: (1) Geology for archaeologists and (2) Sediments, soils and interpreting environments. Brief details appear below, but the full programme can be obtained on request (which will be focussed on different aspects for different groups - details on request.) Future dates can be seen under 'Events'.
Geology for archaeologists
The aim of this course is to introduce the geological skills which are of use to archaeologists. The (indoors) hands-on approach will allow participants to acquire a good working knowledge of the basics of maps, rock identification, descriptive and interpretive work. A fieldwork element can be added which will allow practice of these skills in an outdoor setting.

Geological knowledge is crucial to understanding archaeology. It includes interpreting the landscape, soil qualities, water sources and location of resources such as building stone, metal ores or clays for pots.  It is also needed to identify and source lithic or worked stone artefacts, as well as pottery source areas.

Individuals can reserve a place or a unit may book a training session as in-house.
1 day course £180
2 day course £250
Group by negotiation dependant on venue
Useful handouts provided.
This 1-day course seeks to provide archaeologists with a working knowledge and skills in the following areas:

•    Using geological maps to produce an overview for a project report.
•    Using geological maps to provide an insight into local resources, source materials for lithic artefacts or building stone, soil types and landscape.
•    Identification of the main categories of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks and minerals.
•    Using real artefacts to practise skills gained from the rock ID training.
•    Developing the correct observations and terminology to enable rock description, and apply this to describing artefacts and building stones.

A follow-on day can be added to provide field expertise or to develop any of the above themes more fully.
Sediments, soils and interpreting environments
This 2-day course is for archaeologists and will provide the geological background to sediments and soils, and how to interpret them. The course focuses on the identification of different types of sediments, rocks and soils, how they form and what this tells us about the environment that produced them.

It is a hands-on course with many specimens and case studies presented during the classroom-based sessions. The second day starts with a class-based introduction to soils, soil profiles and interpretation.
Day 1 Programme:
•    Sediment identification and description
•    Information derived from sediments
•    Sedimentary structures
•    Sedimentary environments
•    Case studies
Day 2 programme:
•    Soils – terminology and interpretation (am indoor session).
Followed by field trip:
•    Soils, sediments, structures and features
•    Practice skills in the field
•    Quarry location with variety of skills put into practice.
Cost: 2-day course £350
Numerous useful handouts supplied.
Public programme of courses & workshops:

Romans in Bucks (1)
Who were the ‘Romans’ and where were they living in Bucks? A good start to a day school which goes on to investigate what we know using maps, aerial photographs, records and other evidence alongside a collection of real artefacts to handle and discover ‘their story’. The answers often surprise people!
£30 for 10.30 to 3.30 course. (Times may change and will be displayed with each event listing under 'Events').

Romans in Bucks (2)
Field day with brief indoors intro in Buckingham with Thornborough Bridge and Bancroft Roman Villa, Milton Keynes as the field visits.
The introduction sets the scene with maps and artefacts and we then make two field visits to see for ourselves.
Sharing transport will be suggested from the morning meeting point, as it is environmentally friendly and more fun.
£25, 10.30 to 3.30

Stone tools
Handle a wonderful collection of real artefacts to discover: how they are made and what from, what they were used for, how to name them and finally interpret them in terms of date and who made them. If time we learn how professionals draw them and take a drawing home of a selected special tool.
10 to 12 noon, or 2 to 4 pm (as in Event listing) £15

Geophysics field training
On site doing real fieldwork using a resistance meter on a Roman and/or Iron Age site in the Chilterns. Full training given. Details available shortly.
These events may come up at short notice and so if interested inf field experience then it may be best to get onto the e-mailing list £30 for the full day.
Handouts provided.

Hambleden Roman landscape
‘Life and death in a Roman villa’. As seen on BBC TV's Digging for Britain. Talk and walk. Hambleden Village Hall and valley, Bucks. A digital presentation indoors followed by a guided walk through the valley showing its history from Ice Age to the present-day, but focussing on the Roman story. 10.30 to 3.30, walk c. 3 miles. £30

Woodland Archaeology
Learn the skills of ‘reading’ the lumps and bumps, then plotting them on the map field sheet before learning how to interpret them. Our woodlands are amazing places preserving more of our ancient history than you realise! 10 to 4 pm. £30.

Vale of the White Horse
Geology and archaeology of this intriguing and beautiful area. A day in the field exploring the landscape along with Wayland Smithy, the Ridgeway, Uffington Iron Age fort, the White Horse and more, with lunch at the White Horse pub in nearby Woolstone Village (or picnic if weather is nice) £25

Fossils: the what, where and why
Field trip to a Jurassic quarry preceded with a hands-on fossil session looking at and exploring some of the best. 10.30 to 3.30.  Near Buckingham, £25

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