Archaeological Training Excavation at Syon House

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A great opportunity to help uncover a medieval monastery, decipher its secrets, and learn and develop practical archaeological skills.

For the sixth year, Birkbeck Faculty of Lifelong Learning is offering an archaeological training excavation aimed at anyone aged 17 years and upwards with an interest in practical archaeology.

The excavation - in the grounds of Syon House at Brentford in West London - will be carried out in conjunction with Syon Park and Museum of London Archaeology, and will take place over five weeks in June and July 2009.

Each 5-day course will provide practical training in archaeological excavation and recording techniques, initial finds processing and other aspects of archaeological investigation. Students will be taught by on-site professional archaeologists and visiting specialists, and training will be geared to all levels of experience - including absolute beginners.

Syon House, the London home of the Duke of Northumberland, was built on the site of the only medieval Bridgettine abbey in England, founded in the early 15th century. The Abbey is of unique archaeological and historical interest. At the time of its suppression in A.D. 1539, it was one of the wealthiest in England, but its exact whereabouts in the grounds of Syon House had remained a mystery until 2003 - when Channel 4's Time Team made some remarkable discoveries, including the site of the lost, once great, church.

The site being excavated is situated in the lawns and meadows to the east of the historic House. Students will reveal and record the remains of the medieval Abbey, as well as traces of the series of later formal gardens.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Images and further information: Contact Harvey Sheldon - tel 020 7631 6606

Dates of excavation: weeks commencing June 8, 15, 22, 29 and July 6.

Cost: £200.00 per student per 5-day week.

Venue: Syon House, Brentford, Middlesex.

Enrolment: Birkbeck Central Enrolment Facility on 020 763 6651 or onscreen at
http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/ce/archaeology/awards/XSCAR002.html

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