On the Expedition
When in Rome, they say, do as the Romans do. But what did the Romans do in England?
This extraordinary permanent large-scale excavation site is in a quiet residential area close to the River Tyne and the North Sea. South Shields Roman Fort is the site of a roman military and civilian settlement and lies within the UNESCO Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site. For more than a decade, Earthwatch teams have helped map more than 1,000 square meters of pre-Roman and Roman settlement here, excavating jewellery, armour, game pieces, and ceramics.
You’ll work in small groups, rotating among many tasks, including stratigraphic excavation using a trowel or possibly more robust digging equipment, recording site data, site surveying, and sampling, cleaning, and processing finds. When you're not digging into the social changes of the Roman era and other historical ages, your recreational time can be spent along the most impressive stretches of Hadrian's Wall, enjoying local Geordie culture in South Shields, or in the historic cities of Newcastle, York, Durham, and Edinburgh - just a few hours travel from the field site.
Earthwatch Team Facilitator
An Earthwatch Teen Team Facilitator will join your team to provide additional guidance, supervision, and activity organization for the expedition. Your facilitator will be there to help from the time you step off the plane for the team rendezvous to the end of the expedition. He or she will encourage team spirit by planning events such as team building exercises, presentations, and recreational and cultural activities. If you have any questions or problems during your expedition, such as issues with another student volunteer, homesickness, or an emergency back at home, you should feel comfortable talking to your facilitator. You should also follow the advice and expectations set by your facilitator regarding safety and personal conduct. All Teen Team Facilitators have experience teaching and leading groups of teenagers and are familiar with the team dynamics necessary to make each expedition a success. Remember, your facilitator is there for you! (Teen: Facilitator ratio: ~6:1)
Meals and Accommodations
Your team will enjoy local guest houses a close to your work site in this pleasant, coastal resort town. The guest houses provide shared bedrooms, hot showers and bathrooms, and easy access to parks, beaches, and restaurants. At the excavation site, you'll be fortified by your choice of picnic lunches. You’ll also enjoy full English or continental breakfasts and hearty dinners at the guesthouse. You may even experience the treat of traditional English fish and chips.
About the Research Area
The region of Tyne and Wear is well known for its award winning beaches, amazing coastline, its wildlife, and its tranquil beauty. South Shields is located south east of the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and is situated within the Tyneside conurbation, a famous former industrial area. The residential area where you’ll work is in a coastal holiday resort, with many parks and good beaches nearby. Much of the coastal area remains open and unspoiled, and the research site and accommodations lie in a quiet, residential area close to the North Sea and the mouth of the River Tyne.