Learning at Knossos – Home of the Minoans
Our students tell us how they benefitted from the experience

Tom Maltas – Level 3 BSc Archaeology

During the summer of 2015 I spent six weeks in Crete recovering and processing plant and animal remains from a Bronze Age settlement close to the palace of Knossos. This allowed me to become more confident in identifying the types of plants being grown in the past and learn a great deal more about the history of the Minoans. Experiencing archaeology in the field like this is vital to understanding the context behind the kinds of things we can learn about past societies and the processes involved in accessing this information.

Sheffield is very much set apart in the opportunities it offers for fieldwork both as part of the course and during the summers. The practical skills that we are taught during term time allow Sheffield students to take part in important projects at iconic sites across the world. Excavations are not only places to learn more about archaeology, they also provide opportunities to meet new people, experience new cultures, and see parts of the world through a unique perspective.

David Inglis – Level 3 BA Prehistoric Archaeology

The Knossos Gypsadhes Research Project provided me with an opportunity I would not have dreamed possible during my first two years as an archaeology student and permitted me to work within and contribute to the understanding of one of the most extensively published sites in European archaeology. This was a very different experience from the normal excavation work I was used to and gave me valuable insights into the inner workings of a pioneering research team. Working alongside students with differing levels of understanding and from a diverse range of global academic institutions allowed me to gauge my own academic progress and archaeological understanding. This experience, and the award I later received for Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience: International Project of the Year, greatly helped shape my future career goals and I am now focussed on my aim of continuing my studies at Sheffield on the MA Landscape Archaeology programme.

Sieving at Knossos

Image 2 at Knossos

Tracy Platts – Level 3 BA Archaeology

Last summer I was fortunate to be asked to take part in the excavations at Knossos-Gypsades, Crete, through my dissertation supervisor. Even better, I received SURE (Sheffield Undergraduate Research Experience) funding to participate in a research project at Knossos which used microwear analysis to study previously excavated sheep and goats teeth. This was a fantastic opportunity and experience - taking part in an excavation in such an iconic setting, staying on Arthur Evans’ estate, working with a brilliant international team of archaeologists and students (some of whom are now good friends), and gaining invaluable hands-on experience of working with zooarchaeological material (as this is an area of research I am hoping to pursue through an MSc here at Sheffield). In previous years, as well as field work at Brodsworth, I have also participated in excavations in Orkney and Italy, both funded by grants and awards through the University, and experiencing this variety of field work has been a rewarding addition to my studies.

Survey at Knossos