Projects Courses

9 July - 7 August 2012

British Archaeology Summer School

With Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, England

This high profile month long summer school gives American University Students an opportunity to learn, at source, about the archaeology of Britain with top Professors in the field.


The academic course has five principal components:

1. A series of 30 lectures given by senior academics covering the successive periods of British prehistoric and post-prehistoric archaeology, from the earliest settlement of Britain to the end of the medieval period ca.1500. This will include lectures devoted to the major, relevant aspects of archaeological method and theory, combined with guided visits to the laboratories of the Cambridge University McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and the museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

3. A 4-day study tour of Ancient Wessex to visit many of the most important archaeological sites in southern England, including the famous Neolithic and Bronze-age sites of Stonehenge, Woodhenge, Avebury, West Kennet and Durrington Walls, Salisbury Cathedral and Old Sarum.

4. Field visits to relevant Roman and medieval sites. Shorter visits will be made to the principal medieval colleges of Cambridge and the collections of Cambridge University Fitzwilliam Museum, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the British Museum (London) and the unique collection of Anglo-Saxon and early medieval manuscripts housed in the Parker Library of Corpus Christi College itself – containing almost 25 percent of the known Anglo-Saxon manuscripts world-wide.

5. Tuition in practical excavation methods, including 2 days test-pitting learning the techniques of digging first hand.

Some lectures and field visits will be at the weekends but time will also be scheduled for individual study and exploration.

For 2012 an optional 2-week fieldwork extension at an extra cost is available, in which you will be able to take part in an important archaeological excavation in the UK. The number of places is strictly limited so please contact us as soon as possible to receive further details.

The academic timetable for the 2012 Summer School can be seen below.

"Academic Timetable" (File Size:112kb )

Ancient Wessex Tour

In addition to the series of field visits closer to Cambridge, the Summer School incorporates a four-day excursion to the area of ancient Wessex, during which we will visit some of the most important archaeological sites in southern England, including Stonehenge, Woodhenge, Avebury, West Kennet, Silbury Hill, Salisbury and Old Sarum.

Corpus Christi College

Founded by the Guilds of Corpus Christi and the Blessed Virgin Mary, Corpus Christi bears the distinction of being the only college in Oxford or Cambridge to be founded by the town citizens, rather than a royal, rich, or other important person.

One of the college’s most famous assets is the Parker Library, named after Matthew Parker (1504-75), Master of the College and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Treasures include the earliest known copy of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and a bound copy of the St Augustine Gospels from the 6th century. A special visit to the library will be made.

Former students of the college include the Elizabethan dramatist Christopher Marlowe, American author Christopher Isherwood, and the well-known seventeenth-century British archaeologist and antiquarian (and Druid advocate) Sir William Stukeley.

Today the college is home to a very active, international community of 400 students (from all academic disciplines). The college is located in the historic centre of Cambridge and consists of the medieval buildings of Old Court, constructed around 1352, and the later New Court, built by the famous Regency architect William Wilkins in 1827. A recent addition to the college is the extraordinary Chronophage clock, designed by former student Dr John Taylor, now one of the most photographed tourist attractions in Cambridge!

A short introduction to the Summer School will be provided, availability permitting, by the present Master of the College (and former British Ambassador to Kuwait) Stuart Laing, at a reception to be held in the college gardens.

College Life

Accommodation at Corpus Christi will be in single rooms (bathroom facilities are shared) in Newnham House, a delightful Victorian villa with private gardens, set in an excellent riverside location a few minutes’ walk from the college. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be taken in the college dining hall and students will also experience a formal, traditional dinner, as enjoyed by generations of Cambridge scholars.

The college social and library facilities, as well as computer rooms, will be available to students at no extra cost. Internet access is included in the cost of your accommodation for those who wish to bring a laptop computer.

There will be opportunities to mix with local students as well as other overseas students visiting the University. Optional theatre visits, concerts and other cultural activities will be arranged or recommended. Unless otherwise stated (see later) these activities will not be included in the price.

Of course, you will also have free time during which you can explore for yourselves the delights of Cambridge, a city which combines a wealth of history with an exciting and multicultural present.


• Professor Sir Paul Mellars, PhD, ScD, FBA, FSA (Course Director, Palaeolithic)

• Katherine Boyle, PhD, FSA (Co-director, Environmental & Economic Archaeology)

• Sheila Kohring, PhD (Method & Theory)

• Catherine Hills, PhD, FSA (Medieval Archaeology)

• Grahame Appleby (Roman Archaeology)

• Caroline Malone, PhD, FSA (Neolithic and Bronze-age)

• Simon Stoddart, PhD, FSA (Iron-age)

Professor Sir Paul Mellars, PhD, ScD, FBA, FSA (Course Director. Palaeolithic)

Paul Mellars is Professor of Prehistory and Human Evolution at Cambridge University, and Director of Studies in Archaeology at Corpus Christi College. He is recognized as one of the leading world authorities on European Neanderthals and the origins and dispersal of ‘Modern’ (Homo sapiens) populations from Africa. He has also excavated and published monographs on major excavations at the Mesolithic sites of Star Carr and Oronsay in Britain. He is a former President and Acting Master of Corpus Christi College.

Katherine Boyle, PhD, FSA (Course Co-director. Environmental & Economic Archaeology)

Katie Boyle is a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and a Senior Administrator in Research at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. She has undertaken and published extensive research on patterns of animal exploitation among Palaeolithic and later prehistoric populations in Europe. She is currently working on the survival of hunting as a subsistence strategy among Neolithic farmers.

Sheila Kohring, PhD (Method & Theory)

Sheila Kohring is an Affiliated Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. She has excavated and conducted research in Mesoamerica, North America and Europe as a contract archaeologist and academic. Her most recent research has looked at technological practices and knowledge during the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of Spain, the Channel Islands and southern England.

Grahame Appleby (Roman Archaeology)

Grahame Appleby is a research officer for the Cambridge Archaeological Unit on post-excavation analyses and publications. His primary interests are in the social meaning of weapons in the Bronze Age, notions of Roman identity, prehistoric and Roman metalwork, and the nature and evidence for conflict in the prehistoric and Roman periods.

Catherine Hills, PhD, FSA (Medieval)

Catherine Hills is Senior Lecturer in Medieval Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of numerous publications on the medieval archaeology of Britain and western Europe, and has undertaken and published major excavations on the early medieval sites of Spong Hill (Norfolk) and elsewhere.

Caroline Malone, PhD, FSA (Neolithic and Bronze-age)

Caroline Malone is Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at Queen’s University, Belfast (Northern Ireland) and was formerly Keeper of Later European Prehistory at the British Museum and Curator of the Avebury Museum. She has undertaken excavations at major Prehistoric sites in Italy, Malta, England and Scotland.

Simon Stoddart, PhD, FSA (Iron-age)

Simon Stoddart is Senior Lecturer in Prehistoric Archaeology at the University of Cambridge and one of the leading international authorities on the Iron Age Archaeology of Britain and Mediterranean Europe. With his wife, Dr Caroline Malone, he has undertaken excavations at many European prehistoric sites.


Corpus Christi College of the University of Cambridge has a longstanding relationship with the ACE Foundation and is hosting this course as part of a number of affiliated projects. Full details of the college can be found at

Assessment and Credits

For those wishing to take the course to secure credits from their home universities, performance in the course will be assessed on the basis of a short (ca.2000-word) paper on a topic of the student’s choice (guided by the course instructors) due a month after the program ends, test pitting & artifact/heritage report, plus a three-hour written test at the end of the course (note that none of these is a requirement for enrolment on the course). 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 Cambridge University is in a position to award academic credit. It is up to you to ensure, preferably in advance, that your college or university will recognize such certification and award the suggested credits.


The cost of the month-long programme is $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.


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.


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 senior faculty member who knows well you and your work will also be required. For full details please email All scholarship students are expected to sit the end of course exam and submit an essay within one month of the end of the summer school. Scholarship applications must be received by the 10 March 2011.

How to apply

This course is aimed at American and Canadian University Students with an interest in Archaeology. To download an application form please click the following document: "AFBASS12 Application Form.pdf" (File Size: 92Kb) and mail it to: Once you have been accepted onto the course we will require a 10% deposit at time of confirmation. This deposit is non-refundable except in the event that the programme is cancelled. The closing date for applications is the 28 March 2012. To ensure a place on the summer school you are advised to book early.