People on their knees digging at an archaeological site.
An excavation in progress at Vindolanda. © Vindolanda Trust
An excavation in progress at Vindolanda. © Vindolanda Trust

Young People Dig into Roman History at Vindolanda in 2023

Applications open today (3 January) for a bursary scheme giving young people in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland the opportunity to take part in a famous archaeological dig in the summer.

Historic England is giving a £10,000 grant, which will enable The Vindolanda Trust to fund ten bursary places on the 2023 digs at the Vindolanda Roman settlement near Hexham.

Part of the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage site, Vindolanda is regarded as the most exciting archaeological site in Europe. With its wealth of archaeological remains and ongoing excavations, places on the dig always sell out very quickly. 

This demand, and the costs of taking part, is a barrier to participation to some young people, particularly those from urban communities along the Wall. Both Historic England and the Vindolanda Trust see an urgent need to tackle this issue, not least to address the anticipated shortage of young people going into an archaeological career in the future.

2023 is the second year Historic England has worked with the Vindolanda Trust in this bursary scheme, opening opportunities to try archaeology and gain new skills to young people from all backgrounds.

Whilst last year’s bursaries were open to students at schools in the Tyne Valley, this year they have been divided into residential and non-residential places to widen participation. Four bursary places are non-residential and open to 18-20 year-olds living in the Tyne Valley: the other six bursaries will fund residential places on the dig with young people from across Tyne and Wear and Northumberland eligible to apply.

The bursaries will cover a two-week placement at the popular annual excavation, working alongside experienced archaeologists. The placements will take place between June and August.

By opening up this year’s bursaries to young people across a large part of the North East, we hope to inspire a new generation of archaeologists who might have thought this career path was out of their reach.

Mike Collins, Inspector of Ancient Monuments Historic England

Anyone who meets the criteria is encouraged to apply for a bursary by completing the application form on the Vindolanda website at

The closing date is 31 January 2023.