Earthwatch volunteers at the South Shields Roman Fort have helped in mapping more than 1,000 square yards (square meters) of pre-Roman and Roman settlements and excavating jewelry, armor, and ceramics.
Arbeia, the Roman fort overlooking the River Tyne and its harbor, was one of the largest and busiest supply depots in the northern Roman Empire. Hadrian’s Wall, just four miles (6.4 kilometers) from Arbeia, marks the boundary of the empire. Beyond the wall lived the region’s native inhabitants, the Brigantes and Picts. Earthwatch scientists are exploring the site and seeking answers to significant historical questions. You can spend the weekend as a volunteer for a “taste” of the archaeological life.
As a weekend volunteer, you may choose either of two options. Both options include a visit to the Great North Museum in Newcastle.
Option 1: During the Sampler Weekend of Archaeology, you’ll learn how to use an archaeological trowel and how to record finds. You’ll help trained staff record and excavate layers of Roman occupation from the first to the fourth centuries A.D. and then process and catalogue your finds.
Option 2: The Archaeological Finds Weekend is an opportunity for volunteers to have close contact with the finds from previous excavations at the fort and learn about their processing. Finds include a wide range of artifacts, from pottery to coins, beads, and vessels.