In the summer of 2023, we were invited to visit a live archaeological dig by the University of Manchester’s department for archaeology, taking place in Dorstone and Hereford. The project was a continuation of the archaeology project dig to reveal the history of Arthur’s Stone and Snodhill Castle and was a collaboration between Cardiff and Manchester university. The project has previously been showcased on BBC’s Digging for Britain, featuring Dr Alice Edwards. See episode here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0dm7x9y
This year the team were granted permission to dig on the monument itself and this presented an exciting chance to examine what was contained inside the burial. Previously, the team had revealed ancient post holes, the edge of the monument and they were about to find the quarry…
Making the UoM Student Experience Film
Our approach was to use several types of technologies for production, including a DSLR, drone, and immersive camera. Part of the challenge to film, was making everyone aware of the drone’s presence and ensuring that it was safe to fly in congested area. Another challenge was finding the correct weather conditions to fly safely.
The film we made is a expository documentary, focusing on the voices of the students and their accounts of the dig work and in particular the social aspect of working on a dig. The audio interviews were recorded on site and cleaned up in post and we edited down over an hour’s audio to approximately 7 minutes 30 seconds.
Watch the film via the link: https://vimeo.com/853955399
Dig Diary and other links
To read about the dig project, you can follow the dig diary here. https://dorstonedigs.wordpress.com/
There have been several finds at the site and most recently it was revealed bones were discovered. https://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/new-archaeological-discoveries-arthurs-stone/
What the Client Had to Say
"What started out as a chat about archaeology student experience, has become an excellent seven minute video comprising student interview, drone footage and film of the excavation process. As well as a brilliant record of two very different University of Manchester digs this summer, it has really captured the student voice. Well chuffed! Many thanks."
Dr John Piprani
Thanks to Dr John Piprani for the invitation to the project and for producing the film. Other notable help was from Max Jacobs for the site assessment, and Tom Elliot for training on total stations. The documentary also featured Dr Nick Overton, who has previously worked with the BBC’s team on another episode.
Professor Julian Thomas, Director of Archaeology at the University of Manchester, is leading the project with Professor Keith Ray of Cardiff University. Manchester colleague Dr Nick Overton is Associate Director.