SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROJECTS
"The Fieldwork guide" Version 4, 20/9/11
This booklet is intended for absolute beginners. If you already know what you are doing or have good advice elsewhere, then it may be too basic for you.
Archaeology is largely a field subject and, as part of your course, you can expect to be working out of doors for weeks on end, often away from proper housing and facilities. For many of us, that's the whole point of doing it. The sun might shine on you all the time, and I hope it does, but you are likely to get wet and cold at least some of the time. In summer, or hot countries, the heat and sun may themselves prove difficult. The level of difficulty depends upon where you excavate, and this leaflet is not intended to give advice on the extreme conditions found in mountainous regions or really remote areas - for which specialist advice is required. For ordinary conditions in Europe you will need some warm clothing, effective waterproofs and suitable footwear. In summer, or hot parts of the world, you may need defensive measures against the sun. On most field courses and excavations you will either camp or live in some sort of hostel or shared house. For many of these you will at the very least require your own bedding. If camping, you might be able to share a tent with another student, but might be more comfortable with your own tent. The order of priority is therefore:
1. Suitable footwear.
2. Warm clothing, or clothes to guard against sun.
3. Waterproof outer clothing in wet cold climates.
4. Sleeping bag and insulating mat.
All the comments below are very much my own ideas, from my own fieldwork experience in various parts of the world. I must emphasise that I am not a survival/mountaineering expert and you should ask for specialist advice. But I hope my comments will allow you at least to go into a shop and to ask the right questions.