Excavations at Les Varines [Photo Credit: Ice Age Island]

Les Varines, a Magdalenian settlement approximately 14,500 years old, is an exceptional site which has yielded thousands of stone artefacts, preserved animal bone, pits, hearths, paved areas and, most exceptionally engraved stones. These have recently gained international media attention and were featured in BBC2’s Digging for Britain. Key skills taught include excavation, recording, use of a total station, site taphonomy and artefact orientation, as well as finds processing and documentation: skills learnt in the field are reinforced with evening lectures providing a broader interpretative context to the skills learnt. Participants are provided with a BAJR skills passport to record and develop their training, and we are keen to support students from the project developing their careers in the broader heritage sector. Past students have gone on to work with the project as doctoral students, within museums, and in commercial archaeology, and many have continued to contribute to our ongoing research.