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Archaeology applicants 2023

I've applied to study archaeology at university, and I know its a very small subject so I was wondering if anyone else has applied or is applying to do archaeology or anything similar this year! If you have, where are you applying and what have you been doing to prepare?

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I've applied to Archaeology this year also. I'm doing a BSc and I've applied to Nottingham, York, Cardiff, Exeter and Edinburgh. I've been doing a lot I reading to prepare. What about you, where are you applying?
Original post by Grace_CS
I've applied to Archaeology this year also. I'm doing a BSc and I've applied to Nottingham, York, Cardiff, Exeter and Edinburgh. I've been doing a lot I reading to prepare. What about you, where are you applying?

I've applied to Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, York and Southampton. I've got offers from York and Southampton, and and interview for Cambridge. Have you done any excavations?
No, I haven't. Honestly I decided on doing Archaeology quite late so I didn't really get a chance. You?
Also, congrats on your offers!
Original post by Grace_CS
No, I haven't. Honestly I decided on doing Archaeology quite late so I didn't really get a chance. You?
Also, congrats on your offers!

Thank you! I've been one one last summer, which was essentially to make sure I wanted to do archaeology.
Original post by pangolin :)
Thank you! I've been one one last summer, which was essentially to make sure I wanted to do archaeology.


That is so cool! I'm very jealous. What are you studying?
Original post by Grace_CS
That is so cool! I'm very jealous. What are you studying?

My A-Levels are Latin, Classics and History (Early modern), with an EPQ in palaeodietary research, and I've applied for BA Archaeology. What are you studying?
Original post by pangolin :)
My A-Levels are Latin, Classics and History (Early modern), with an EPQ in palaeodietary research, and I've applied for BA Archaeology. What are you studying?


I'm doing the IB and I'm studying Maths, English, Biology, Psychology, History and Japanese.
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 8
What did people talk about in their personal statement for archaeology? How much fieldwork/volunteering (if any!) have you done? I don't know anyone applying for archaeology and no-one at my school have applied in years, so I'm really uncertain what the standards and expectations are!
I talked about some sites I'm interested in, that I'm mostly interested in forensic archaeology and osteoarchaeology. I wrote about a MOOC I did, and some fieldwork (I did a week in Nottingham over the summer). Hope this helps. Good luck with your application!
Original post by pangolin :)
I talked about some sites I'm interested in, that I'm mostly interested in forensic archaeology and osteoarchaeology. I wrote about a MOOC I did, and some fieldwork (I did a week in Nottingham over the summer). Hope this helps. Good luck with your application!


That does help, that sounds pretty similar to what I did.
Osteoarchaeology is so fascinating! I got to excavate a skeleton a few years ago now, which was incredible. Are you more interested in modern applications of forensic archaeology or historical ones? The latter is certainly where my interests lie - isotope analysis to pinpoint where an individual grew up and then where they lived immediately prior to death is really cool! I think you're applying to Cambridge, so I'm sure you know about the After The Plague project they run - I partly applied to Peterhouse because that's the college of the main professor running that project.
I have to say, it's been a little difficult applying for such a niche subject, so it's nice to hear from others doing the same. I went to some open days, but I was too scared to talk to anyone!
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by RMOwens
What did people talk about in their personal statement for archaeology? How much fieldwork/volunteering (if any!) have you done? I don't know anyone applying for archaeology and no-one at my school have applied in years, so I'm really uncertain what the standards and expectations are!


Most people don't have any archaeology experience, so don't worry at all :smile:
Original post by RMOwens
That does help, that sounds pretty similar to what I did.
Osteoarchaeology is so fascinating! I got to excavate a skeleton a few years ago now in an Anglo-Saxon graveyard, which was incredible. Are you more interested in modern applications of forensic archaeology or historical ones? The latter is certainly where my interests lie - isotope analysis to pinpoint where an individual grew up and then where they lived immediately prior to death is really cool! I think you're applying to Cambridge, so I'm sure you know about the After The Plague project they run - I partly applied to Peterhouse because that's the college of the main professor running that project.
I have to say, it's been a little difficult applying for such a niche subject, so it's nice to hear from others doing the same. I went to some open days, but I was too scared to talk to anyone!

I'm quite interested in the diet side of things (I'm doing an EPQ on palaeodietary research, so isotope analysis features heavily!) and I really like prehistory, with Shanidar cave being one of my favourite sites. That one of the reasons I applied to Corpus, because the DoS there, and one of the other fellows both did work at Shanidar. It's always nice finding other people to geek out over archaeology with!
Anyone got any good suggestions for fieldwork this summer? Me and three friends are trying to find some, but its all too expensive :frown:
Original post by pangolin :)
Anyone got any good suggestions for fieldwork this summer? Me and three friends are trying to find some, but its all too expensive :frown:


I would try to find something local or look here: https://www.londonarchaeologist.org.uk/community-archaeology.html
Original post by Sandtrooper
I would try to find something local or look here: https://www.londonarchaeologist.org.uk/community-archaeology.html

Thank you, I'll have a look at that! This year there was a dig in York with York Archaeology that I'm hoping will continue this year, that I think would be both affordable and fun!
Original post by pangolin :)
I'm quite interested in the diet side of things (I'm doing an EPQ on palaeodietary research, so isotope analysis features heavily!) and I really like prehistory, with Shanidar cave being one of my favourite sites. That one of the reasons I applied to Corpus, because the DoS there, and one of the other fellows both did work at Shanidar. It's always nice finding other people to geek out over archaeology with!

Palaeodietry sounds like a fun EPQ topic. How’s it going? I did mine last year on youth outreach in archaeology and it was so satisfying when I finally handed it in.
Shanidar is fascinating too - Shanidar 1 and the fact that others must have taken care of him because of his disabilities is particularly interesting.
Have you read Kindred by Rebecca Wragg Sykes? If not, I would thoroughly recommend.

Also, have you received interview details yet from Cambridge?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by RMOwens
Palaeodietry sounds like a fun EPQ topic. How’s it going? I did mine last year on youth outreach in archaeology and it was so satisfying when I finally handed it in.
Shanidar is fascinating too - Shanidar 1 and the fact that others must have taken care of him because of his disabilities is particularly interesting.
Have you read Kindred by Rebecca Wragg Sykes? If not, I would thoroughly recommend.

Also, have you received interview details yet from Cambridge?

My EPQ is going pretty well! I actually did my presentation about an hour ago, although my teacher didn't tell me that I'd be doing it this week, so that was stressful!
I haven't read Kindred, but I'll definitely have a look.
I got my interview details a couple of weeks ago - it's on the 7th, and I've got 3 interviewers (two from my college, one from another), and two of them worked at Shanidar, so that's both terrifying and amazing!
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by pangolin :)
My EPQ is going pretty well! I actually did my presentation about an hour ago, although my teacher didn't tell me that I'd be doing it this week, so that was stressful!
I haven't read Kindred, but I'll definitely have a look.
I got my interview details a couple of weeks ago - it's on the 7th, and I've got 3 interviewers (two from my college, one from another), and two of them worked at Shanidar, so that's both terrifying and amazing!

Oh, that is stressful! I hope it went well.
When I did my presentation last year, I ended up with the two teachers most renowned for asking really difficult questions and marking harshly, so I was terrified, but it went fairly well in the end!
I think one of the most irrelevant things that I’m irrationally proud of that I’ve achieved is that the author of Kindred follows me on Twitter. The book is really good though, it got a lot of attention and awards when it was published, and it talks about Shanidar.
I’m jealous! Peterhouse only sent interview details out after the assessment this week and mine’s on Monday, so it’s short notice. I don’t know who my interviewers will be either, which is stressing me out just a tad!
Original post by RMOwens
Oh, that is stressful! I hope it went well.
When I did my presentation last year, I ended up with the two teachers most renowned for asking really difficult questions and marking harshly, so I was terrified, but it went fairly well in the end!
I think one of the most irrelevant things that I’m irrationally proud of that I’ve achieved is that the author of Kindred follows me on Twitter. The book is really good though, it got a lot of attention and awards when it was published, and it talks about Shanidar.
I’m jealous! Peterhouse only sent interview details out after the assessment this week and mine’s on Monday, so it’s short notice. I don’t know who my interviewers will be either, which is stressing me out just a tad!

I'm sure you're interview will be fine! To be honest, I haven't done as much interview prep as I should have done given the amount of warning I had, but I'm sure it will be alright. Good luck with your interview!

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