Course overview

The historical record says little about the time after the Romans left Britain which is why it is called the Dark Ages. We know that there was an influx of people and ideas which ultimately led to the foundation to Great Britain. Our interpretation of this period is based on the limited written sources and what is found in the archaeological record. This Study day explores the important contribution detectorists are making in helping Archaeologists in their interpretation of this period. It also serves as an introduction to the fascinating hobby of detecting.

Course description

Finds by metal detectorists are changing the archaeological narrative, particularly relating to the so called Dark Ages, which is the notional period following the Roman exodus and for which there is little in the historical record. New archaeological finds are changing the traditional view of what actually happened. In particular, finds of late Roman coinage by metal detectorists suggest that Roman influence continued for many years beyond AD 409 which traditionally is viewed as the date was left to its own fate. This course will discuss the latest theories relating to this period and explore the role of detectorists and how they are assisting Archaeologists in reinterpreting the Roman and Anglo Saxon transition. Students will have an opportunity to use metal detectors and to handle the types of artefacts discovered for this period as well as developing an understanding of this absorbing hobby and its relationship with Archaeology. Those only interested in Archaeology will also benefit from this course as the latest theories and significant finds will be fully explored. No previous experience of Archaeology or Detecting is necessary although experienced practitioners of either will find this course stimulating and absorbing.

What financial support is available?

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