Artefacts and Ecofacts in and out of the Field

Course summary

Artefacts and Ecofacts in and out of the Field


Archaeological practice over recent years has led to an increasing divergence between those who excavate sites and those who study the artefacts and ecofacts recovered from them. As a result, field archaeologists and artefact/ecofact specialists often work in isolation from each other, leading both to the unnecessary collection of material
with little information value, and to missed opportunities to
recover material of greater interest.

This course will provide you with expert guidance on how key artefacts and ecofacts can contribute to the interpretation of archaeological sites, and good practice in sampling and collection. We will help you to reflect
critically on how the research aims and context of a site should influence what is collected and how. We will also consider the kinds of problems that are often encountered.

The course is designed for supervisors, project officers and junior managers with responsibility for the day to day running of archaeological excavations. It will also be of value for anyone starting to work with archaeological artefacts or environmental remains who would benefit from expert guidance on designing collection and sampling
programmes to address project research aims.

National Occupational Standards for Archaeology: Supports the Performance and Knowledge requirements for CCSAPAD3 Identify and describe archaeological items; Supports the Knowledge requirements for CCSAPAC8 Undertake analysis and interpretation of archaeological material and data.


Programme details


8.45am Registration and coffee / tea
9.15am Welcome and introduction
9.30am Pottery
10.15am Building materials
11.00am Coffee / tea
11.30am Animal bone
12.15pm Plant remains
1.00pm Lunch
2.00pm Workshop session
Participants work in groups to consider the range of research aims  associated with different types of sites, what the priorities for finds collection and environmental sampling would be on these different site types, and what problems might be encountered.
3.15pm Tea / coffee
3.30pm Workshop session (continued)
Group presentations, discussion and questions
4.30pm Course concludes



Accommodation is not included in the price, but depending on availability it may be possible to stay at Rewley House on Tuesday night.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email  for details of availability and prices.

Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.



Tuition includes coffee/tea: £216.00
Baguette Lunch: £4.70
Full Hot Lunch: £13.50


Payment of fees must be made in full at the time of booking. Please note that businesses and organisations can be invoiced on provision of a Purchase Order and completed application form. These can be emailed to the CWHE Programme Administrator, email:



Mr Edward Biddulph


Senior Manager and Roman pottery specialist, Oxford Archaeology

Mrs Anne H Dodd

Course Director

Anne Dodd is a senior manager at Oxford Archaeology with many years’ experience of post-excavation management and publication

Kevin Hayward


Building Materials Specialist, Pre-Construct Archaeology

Dr Rebecca Nicholson


Head of Environmental Archaeology, Oxford Archaeology

Mr Kevin Reilly


Archaeozoologist, Pre-Construct Archaeology


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.