Devon’s Roman Ruins

About this Adventure



Fact File:
Duration: 14 days
Price: £1,800 GBP minimum contribution




Be among the first in two millennia to see new evidence of Rome’s presence as you excavate this promising site.

The Celts called the area Dumnonia, and you’ll help discover how the Romans interacted with the Dumnonian people and what life was like in ancient Britain’s southwest.

The discovery of this Romano-British settlement is of tremendous importance. The settlement is the largest discovered in the county to date and detected structures hint at native roundhouses, enclosures, a Roman road and other structures. At present, there is nothing comparable to the site in Devon, or even the western peninsula, and research will significantly contribute to our understanding of life in the Romano-British world on the edges of the Roman Empire. This is your opportunity to be one of the first to conduct fieldwork here, helping further understand the nature, date, and extent of the site.

Join us in excavating and recording finds, which may include pottery, coins, tools, and other Romano-British objects. Help us clean archaeological features; and assist in making section drawings and plans, taking accurate photographic records and detailed field notes. You’ll also assist with post-excavation analysis.

The data you collect during the excavation will be analysed by Exeter University, and the results published in peer-reviewed journals, shared with local communities, and seen by visitors through presentations, exhibitions and other activities.

Meals and Accommodations
Volunteers will stay at Exeter University’s Streatham Campus, which overlooks Exeter and the surrounding countryside. The University campus is famous for its beautiful and peaceful parkland, lakes, woodland and landscaped gardens which contain numerous rare species and trees. The city is a short walk, but there are also buses from the campus. There is a shop and a bar on campus.

Single or double rooms are available with a wash basin, and full internet access. Bathroom facilities are shared. Linen and towels, and tea and coffee making facilities will all be provided.

Breakfast and evening meals will be served buffet-style at the University Halls of Residence and prepared by in-house chefs at Exeter University. Breakfast will consist of a traditional cooked English breakfast or fruits, croissants, cereals, with fruit juices, and tea or coffee. A packed lunch will be provided for daytime onsite, and will include freshly prepared sandwiches, fruit, carrot or fruit cake, crisps and mineral water or fruit juice.

About the Research Area

Devon is a beautiful, largely rural, county steeped in history. It has two stunning coastlines, long associated with legends of pirates, smuggling and shipwrecks; and two vast areas of wild moorland which are national parks: Dartmoor National Park, and Exmoor National Park. Both national parks are extremely rich in prehistoric heritage – Dartmoor is famous for its unique Bronze Age landscape, and it has numerous standing circles and standing stone rows.

Exeter, the Roman and cathedral capital of Devon, is a small but busy and thriving city with many attractions to offer. There are plenty of shops and cafes to explore. Tourist attractions include Exeter’s unique medieval underground passages, the medieval cathedral and the historic quayside. The town also has a busy nightlife; there is the opportunity to visit cinemas, theatres and restaurants.

Devon’s extensive moorland and coastland offers many outdoor sports and activity opportunities. There are numerous walking routes and bridleways in both national parks, and the South West coast path meanders along the beautiful coastline of Devon and Cornwall.

Devon is located in the far south west peninsula of Britain and it is one of the sunniest and warmest areas of the country, enjoying a temperate maritime climate. Summer months are generally warm and sunny, but rain showerscan be expected from time to time. In August, the maximum temperatures are around 21C or (70 F), dropping to around 12C or (53F) at night. Volunteers will need to bring waterproof clothing, in addition to sun lotion, a hat andother appropriate clothing to shelter from the sun. The county is largely rural; farming, fishing and tourism being the main areas of economy.

For more information visit Earthwatch at the link below.

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