Get Your Hands Dirty (in a Good Way) with These Epic Archaeological Adventures
These adventures allow participants to work alongside professional archaeologists, learn about history, and discover artifacts at real archaeological sites.
Whether you’re interested in excavating a Roman villa in Italy, participating in a National Park Service dig in the United States, or exploring other archaeological sites worldwide, plenty of options are available to satisfy your curiosity and sense of adventure.
Here are some things at Dig for a Day:
- Participate in an archaeological dig – Dig for a Day allows participants to dig for authentic artifacts at a real archaeological site.
- Learn about archaeology – If you’re interested in archaeology but need to gain experience, Dig for a Day can teach you the basics.
- Work alongside professional archaeologists – Dig for a Day hires professional archaeologists to oversee the digs, so you’ll be working alongside experts in the field.
- Discover history – As you dig, you’ll uncover artifacts that may date back hundreds or even thousands of years. You’ll learn about the history of the site and the people who lived there.
- Have fun – Digging for artifacts can be a lot of fun, especially when you’re doing it with friends or family.
- Get outside – Archaeological digs often occur in beautiful outdoor settings, so you can enjoy nature while working.
- Take home artifacts – Depending on the site and the rules; you may be able to keep some of the artifacts you find during your dig.
If you’re specifically interested in the “Dig for a Day” experience at the Villa of the Colonnacce in Rome, here are some things you can expect to do:
- Excavate a Roman villa – The Villa of the Colonnacce is a real archaeological site in Rome, and participants in the “Dig for a Day” experience will have the opportunity to excavate parts of the villa.
- Learn about Roman history – The villa dates back to the Roman Empire, so you’ll have the chance to learn about the history of Rome and the people who lived there.
- Work alongside archaeologists – Professional archaeologists oversee the excavation, so you’ll be working alongside experts in the field.
- Discover artifacts – As you dig, you’ll uncover artifacts that the villa’s inhabitants, such as pottery, coins, and tools used.
- Learn about excavation techniques – You’ll be taught how to properly excavate and handle artifacts, which can be valuable if you pursue archaeology.
- Enjoy the Italian countryside – The Villa of the Colonnacce is located in the Italian countryside, so you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery while you work.
- Take home artifacts – Depending on the site and the rules; you may be able to keep some of the artifacts you find during your dig as a souvenir of your experience.
The National Park Service offers a variety of archaeological digs for day adventures across the United States. Here are some things you can do with the National Park Service:
- Participate in an archaeological dig – The National Park Service offers a variety of digs across the country, so you can choose a site that interests you and participate in an actual excavation.
- Learn about history – Each site has a unique history, and participating in a dig can help you learn more about the people and events associated with that history.
- Work alongside professionals – The National Park Service employs professional archaeologists who oversee the digs, so you’ll be working alongside experts in the field.
- Discover artifacts – Depending on the site, you may uncover artifacts such as tools, pottery, and even human remains.
- Learn about excavation techniques – You’ll be taught proper excavation techniques and how to handle artifacts, which can be valuable if you’re interested in further pursuing archaeology.
- Explore national parks – Many of the archaeological digs offered by the National Park Service take place within national parks, which can offer beautiful scenery and additional opportunities for outdoor recreation.
- Take home artifacts – Depending on the site and the rules; you can keep some of the artifacts you find during your dig as a souvenir of your experience.
Several organizations in the UK offer “Dig for a Day” programs, including local archaeological societies, museums, and universities. These programs are a popular way for people to learn about the history of their local area and gain hands-on experience in archaeology.
Here are some things you can do with the UK “Dig for a Day” program:
- Participate in a one-day excavation at a designated archaeological site
- Work alongside professional archaeologists and learn proper excavation techniques
- Handle and study any artifacts that you uncover during the excavation
- Explore areas that are not typically open to the public, such as private farms or estates
- Learn about the history of the local area from expert guides
- Meet other people who are interested in archaeology and history
- Have a unique and memorable hands-on experience with history
Several “Dig for a Day” programs are available throughout the UK, and the specific locations may vary depending on the organization or group offering the program. Some popular sites for “Dig for a Day” adventures in the UK include:
- Hadrian’s Wall in northern England
- Wroxeter Roman City in Shropshire
- Flag Fen Archaeology Park in Cambridgeshire
- Butser Ancient Farm in Hampshire
- Lunt Roman Fort in Coventry
- Chedworth Roman Villa in Gloucestershire
- Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths in South Wales
These are just a few examples, and many other sites throughout the UK offer “Dig for a Day” programs. It’s worth researching different programs and locations to find one that interests you and fits your schedule.
Did you know?
The artifacts uncovered during an archaeological dig are only sometimes immediately valuable. While some artifacts may be rare or have historical significance, many discovered items are common and only worth a little.
The real value of an archaeological dig is in the knowledge gained from studying the artifacts and the site as a whole rather than the monetary value of individual items.
A little history:
Archaeological digs for a day have a relatively recent history, with the first “Dig for a Day” program being developed in the early 1990s in the United Kingdom. This program was designed to allow the public to experience archaeology firsthand and learn about the local area’s history.
Since then, “Dig for a Day” programs have become increasingly popular worldwide, and many archaeological sites now offer day adventures for participants of all ages and skill levels.
Archaeology has a much longer history, dating back to the 1800s when archaeologists began excavating ancient sites in Europe and the Middle East. Since then, archaeology has expanded to include many different areas of study, including anthropology, geology, and history.
Archaeologists use various techniques and tools to uncover and analyze artifacts, including ground-penetrating radar, DNA analysis, and 3D modeling.
The history of archaeological digs for a day reflects a growing interest in the past and a desire for people to experience history more hands-only. As more people participate in these programs, they hope to gain a deeper appreciation for the value of archaeology and its vital role in our understanding of the past.