Digging With the EAS
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I volunteer to dig with you?
- Anybody over the age of 16 is welcome to dig with us, but you must be a member of the Society. See How to Join.
- Do I need to book a place on a dig?
- Generally speaking, no, but there is a limited number of people we can accomodate on a site and if there is high demand we may stop accepting new diggers up to a fortnight before a dig. The earlier you join the better. Please don't turn up and expect to join the Society on the day.
- Can I pay for membership online?
- Yes, we can arrange a bank transfer (contact membership for details). (We're working on simpler methods).
- When / where is your next dig?
- Check the calendar for the main events of the year. More details and details of other work are sent out by email as they arise.
- Do I need any experience to dig with you?
- No. If you have never dug before we will pair you up with somebody more experienced. Some of our best finds are often made by novices!
- Can I come for just one or two days?
- Yes, members are under no obligation to attend the entire dig and are welcome to come and go for days or part days as it suits. If you are a complete beginner and only able to attend one or two days we would advise you avoid the first couple of days, which are typically spent setting up the site. Generally speaking around the middle is the best time to pick. Similarly, there is usually much less for novices to do during the last few days, but if you are able to make it we do appreciate all the help we can get with backfilling and re-turfing. The more days you can attend, however, the more likely you are to see (or discover yourself) something exciting!
- What do I need to know/bring to a dig?
- Sensible clothes
- Dress for the weather. Our sites are almost always exposed to the elements with very little shelter, so come prepared. In the summer especially this means headgear and plenty of suncream. Be prepared for heavy showers too.
- Sturdy footwear
- For your own safety you must wear a pair of sturdy work boots, preferably with reinforced toes. Flimsier footwear will limit what you are allowed to do on site - trainers or canvas shoes are not appropriate.
- Packed lunch
- Depending on the site, eating facilities may be limited. Forty Hall does have a cafe but it's a five minute uphill walk. By the end of a week you'll save a lot of energy (and money!) by bringing your lunch with you.
- Your own trowel
- Believe it or not there is such a thing as an archaeologist's trowel - they are smaller (about 10cm or less) and more durable than a builder's pointing trowel. Most archaeologists recommend WHS archaeology trowels. If you do not have your own trowel we do have a few spares to lend out. Do not bother to bring a builder's pointing trowel or a gardening trowel - they are not appropriate tools and you will not be able to use them.
- You may find gardening or work gloves helpful. Thinner gloves may be better as they let you feel what you are trowelling.
- Kneeling Mat
- You'll spend a lot of time kneeling, often on hard stony surfaces. We have kneeling pads to lend but you may like to bring your own.
- How do I get to Forty Hall?
- Journey Planning
- You can see an online map of the site here. The Hall's postcode is EN2 9HA.
- By Car
- There is free on site parking, but note that during public events spaces may be scarce.
- By Bus
- 191 or W10 to Forty Hill, and then a 15 minute walk.
- London Overground
- London Underground
- Oakwood Station (Picadilly Line), then 307 or 121 bus to Enfield Town, the 191 to Forty Hill, then a 15 minute walk.
Other questions can be sent to enquiries or membership