KAFS 2014 Course Diary

   Please access our Courses and Booking Form, available by clicking here 

   For more details of courses download our latest Newsletter by clicking here  (not yet!)
   More courses will be added as dates become finalised- so keep an eye on the website and use that refresh  button!

   For 'behind the scenes' Study Days go to FIELD TRIPS

Please note we will be part of an excavation team at Ostia this year (2014),  dates to be announced.

Oplontis 2014. Monday 2nd June to Friday 6th June and Monday 9th June to Friday 13th June 2014 (FULLY BOOKED)

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We will be spending  two weeks in association with the University of Texas investigating the Roman Emporium (Villa B) and the Roman palace (Villa A) at Oplontis next to Pompeii. See 'NEWS' for details. Both sites offer a unique opportunity to dig on iconic World Heritage Sites and is a wonderful once in a lifetime opportunity. Cost is £175 a week which does not include board or food but details of where to stay will be available when booking. (Camping is 7EU a day).

For further information please click here for pdf


March, Sat & Sun 29th & 30th 2014, Field Walking and Map Analysis at  Sittingbourne in Kent.
Cancelled because fields to be walked are still waterlogged! Will be re-scheduled for the autumn.

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Field work at its most basic involves walking across the landscape recording features seen on the ground. On this weekend course we are concerned with recognising and recording artifacts found within the plough soil. These will include prehistoric flint tools and Roman pottery. One of the uses of field walking is to build up a database for large-scale regional archaeological surveys. We will consider the importance of regressive map analysis (left) as part of this procedure. The course will cover standard and non-standard linewalking, grid walking, pottery distribution, identifying pottery and artifacts. Free to members. £50 for non-members

Easter, April 18th to April 27th 2014. Excavation of and Investigation of a newly-discovered Roman villa at Teston, west of Maidstone in Kent

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Our second season of investigation of this potentially stupendous Roman building on the banks of the River Medway just west of East Farleigh in Kent. A recent geophysical survey has indicated a large and important Roman villa complex overlooking the river which has not been previously investigated. Work done in 1872 exposed a large bath house which may be part of the main villa or  could have been another associated building. The villa complex seems to cover a wide area and there are reports of a mosaic pavement being uncovered in recent years.   Our investigations will include an additional geophysical survey to see how many other Roman buildings remain to be discovered!
KAFS member's special fee £20 per day (Over five years member £10),
non-members £25 per day.

April 12th and 13th 2014, How to Identify Roman Building Materials with Paul Wilkinson

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An opportunity to handle and have explained the essential building materials of Roman buildings. You will have the opportunity to handle the KAFS reserve collection of  Roman building ceramics, painted plaster and mosaics. The course is designed to help  you understand how the variety of building materials can enable you to interpret Roman buildings both in Britain and the wider Empire. Trip on Sunday to the Roman villa at Lullingstone. We hope to have special access for students this coming autumn to Trajans Forum in Rome. Dates to be announced
Cost is £50 with membership.

May Bank Holiday 3rd, 4th, 5th May 2014  An Introduction to Archaeology

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On this Bank Holiday weekend and the Bank Holiday Monday  we shall look at the ways in which archaeological sites are discovered and excavated and how different types of finds are studied to reveal the lives of former peoples. This course will be especially useful for those new to archaeology, as well as those considering studying the subject further. In the afternoons we will participate in an archaeological dig on a Roman villa under expert tuition.
Cost is £50 with membership.

  May 17th, 18th, 2014.  Aerial Survey for Archaeologists.  (postponed)

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"If you are studying the development of the landscape in an area, almost any aerial photograph is likely to contain a useful piece of information"
Mick Aston 2002.
A weekend  spent learning about the vast archive of aerial photography available to the archaeologist. We will learn about the RCHME collection, the English Heritage collection at the NMR centre in Swindon, how to interpret and how to access the wonderful aerial world of Google Earth. on Sunday afternoon we will choose an unknown archaeological site on Google Earth and travel to it by car to see what is there! Cost is £50 with membership

May  Bank Holiday  24th, 25th, 26th, 2014, Surveying for Archaeologists

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A  Bank Holiday weekend course on the theory and practice of archaeological survey. Methods from basic optical site levels to laser technology and GPS will be taught. The work of the Ordnance Survey will be explained from the early days of triangulation using a base line to the use of GPS and its drawbacks. Practical exercises will take place at a Roman building in Teston on vertical above ground sections and plan drawing. Context sheet recording for buildings and archaeological sites will also form part of the course.

Cost  is £50 with membership

Friday 23rd May "Behind the Stones at Stonehenge" See the summer sunrise from inside the stones on a special pass to the centre of Stonehenge-see 'Field Trips' for details (Two places left)

June 28th & 29th, 2014, Landscape Archaeology

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A course designed for all those who want to know more about the English landscape. Six main categories of information will be studied: Field Archaeology, aerial photography, historic maps, local history, and place-names. Dr Paul wilkinson in the afternoons will guide us through the countryside to show how to apply archaeological theory to interpret and understand the landscape of England. On Sunday there is the opportunity to participate in a geophysical survey at Teston Roman Villa. Cost is £50 with membership.

   Excavation of the Roman Emporium at Oplontis (2014)- 2nd June -13th   June

  Week 1 & 2 (FULLY BOOKED)

Members of KAFs will be working with the University of Texas on a research excavation at the world famous palace of Nero's wife Poppaea and the adjacent shopping emporium'Villa B'. The palace was overwelmed by Vesuvius in AD79 and buried. This is an unique opportunity to join that select band of archaeologists to have excavated at the World Heritage site of Pompeii and environs. Cost is £175 a week. Accomodation and meals not included. For further details on where to book accomodation and flights email info@kafs.co.uk for details

July 12th to July 20th 2014. Excavation of Bronze Age barrows at Hollingbourne in Kent

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An opportunity to participate in the evaluation of three Bronze Age barrows on the North Downs east of Hollingbourne. The Field School excavated one of these barrows in 2012 and the second one in 2013 with a crouched burial. Further work is needed on the site to fully understand and excavate the last barrow in this sequence.

KAFS member's special fee £20 per day (Over five years member £10),
non-members £25 per day.

Free camping is available on site

August 2nd to 17th 2014, Excavation of a Roman villa and bath-house in Faversham

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An opportunity to participate in an important excavation of a Roman waterside building at Abbey Barns in Faversham. Originally built as an aisled building for the adjacent Roman villa it was then rebuilt as a huge bath-house. Our task for this year is to investigate the east end of the building to clarify if all the building was entirely a bath-house or whether it was attached to a domestic building. We will also investigate the waterway with augers to see if there any remains of Roman shipping and also investigate additional Roman buildings in the vicinity of the bath- house. This is an important investigation which will help to  clarify the extent and importance of Roman Faversham and its harbour.

KAFS member's special fee £20 per day (Over five years member £10),
non-members £25 per day.

August 11th to August 17th 2014, Training Week for Students at Faversham in Kent (Fully Booked)

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It is essential that anyone thinking of digging on an
archaeological site is trained in the procedures used in professional archaeology. Dr Paul Wilkinson, author of the best selling "Archaeology" book and Director of the dig, will spend five days explaining to participants the methods used in modern archaeology. A typical training day will be classroom theory in the morning (at the Field School) followed by excavation at Abbey Barns Roman Villa in Faversham under the guidance of  trained archaeologists. 
Topics taught each are:

Monday 11th August: Why dig?
Tuesday 12th August: Excavation Techniques
Wednesday 13th August: Site Survey
Thursday 14th August: Archaeological Recording
Friday 15th August: Pottery identification
Saturday and Sunday digging with the team

A free PDF copy of "Archaeology" 3rd Edition will be given to participants. Cost for the course is £100 if membership is taken out at the time of booking. Non-members £175. The day starts at 10am and finishes at 4pm. For directions to the Field School see 'Where ' on this website. For camping nearby see 'accomodation'.

October 4th and 5th 2014,  Bones and Burials

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Osteo-archaeology is the study of human remains. The course will be led by Dr Chris Deter who is an osteologist at the University of Kent. The course will cover the on-site recording of human remains and how they can reveal information about the person's age, sex and state of health. Excavated skeletons will be available for study and analysis in practical sessions. An excellent course at £75 for the weekend (£60 for members). Held at the Field School in Faversham.

October 25th & 26th 2013, Archaeological Drawing with Jane Russell 

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A beginner's and refresher course introducing participants to drawing archaeological artifacts. The reasons for drawing artifacts and the principles of archaeological illustration will be explained. There will be practical sessions each day demonstrating how to illustrate pottery, bone, metal and other artifacts found on archaeological sites. Course led by Jane Russell, who was senior illustrator of the UCL Field Archaeology Unit.
Cost is £50 for members.


Saturday 13th December. A day in Roman Bath "Behind the Scenes" with Stephen Clews, Curator of the Bath Roman Museum followed by dinner and a private torch lit wander around the Roman Baths after hours- see Field Trips for details ( two places left)

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