Jersey International Centre of Advanced Studies has opened the application process for its summer school in Jersey, named ‘The Archaeological Map of Jersey’.
Open to anyone aged 18+, the two-week island archaeology summer school is to be led by Dr Matt Pope, Dr Helen Dawson and Dr Hervé Duval.
The summer school will run as part of research into a time period spanning a quarter of a million years, reaching as far back as the Neanderthals, way before Jersey became an island around 5,500 BC, through to the island’s remarkable megalithic building phase during the Neolithic era (ca. 4,000-2500 BC) and its connections to wider European networks in the Bronze (ca. 2,500-700 BC) and Iron (ca. 700-50 BC) ages.
The summer school will take place from Monday 3 July until Saturday 15 July 2023 and is being run in partnership with a wider network of organisations – Société Jersiaise, Jersey Heritage and the University of Exeter – dedicated to preserving and protecting Jersey’s heritage and advancing our understanding of the past.
Applicants need no prior knowledge or qualifications in archaeology and those who are accepted onto the school will have the opportunity to enjoy a rare experience in Jersey while learning about the theories and practices of archaeology. Importantly, participants will contribute to international research into understanding how our island’s prehistoric people, their ways of living and worshipping, fitted into the wider network of European cultures.
One of the highlights of the two-week study includes a conservation project at the Neolithic/Bronze Age Site of Strategic Interest (SSI), La Hougue De Vinde, an under-studied ‘hougue’ or mound situated in Noirmont. Successful applicants will work with experts to preserve the remains of the burial mound and learn about the people who built these monumental structures an estimated 5,500 years ago. The summer school will also include classroom work, training in field methods, and other field trips to sites of (geo-)archaeological interest.
Senior Research Fellow at JICAS, Dr Helen Dawson, said: “Our summer school is being run as part of a new programme of funded research into Jersey’s prehistoric landscape and environment and is aimed at examining aspects of the island’s archaeological heritage which have so far been under-investigated. A key focus is on understanding Jersey’s ‘islandness’ by exploring how it has developed physically and culturally as an island over the millennia.
“Jersey has a remarkable concentration of prehistoric activity for a relatively small island, including one of the most important Palaeolithic sites in Europe at La Cotte de St Brelade, and a megalithic site of extraordinary international importance at La Hougue Bie. This amazingly rich archaeological record holds important clues for understanding the development of Jersey’s cultures and societies over time, especially when studied comparatively or through the lens of other islands.
“Researching the past landscape will enable us to better understand the island’s rich and unique culture and natural environment, both historically and today, and how Jersey’s people are connected to wider cultural processes and societal networks in mainland Europe.”
Director of JICAS, Dr Sean Dettman, said: “The Archaeological Map of Jersey’ is our second summer school to take place in Jersey. We have previously attracted students from Jersey, Europe and North America and hope to extend our reach even further this year.
“I would like to say a sincere thank you to the Government of Jersey’s Economy, Sport and Culture department who granted us £10,000 to run our research. Their support is invaluable to the critical studies we are undertaking as part of wider explorations into understanding how prehistoric people lived. Importantly, this work also helps the people of Jersey to better understand the island’s archaeology, culture, history and heritage and become guardians of it.”
More information can be found here.