Waterloo Uncovered Battlefield Excavation 2019

Organizing institution
Utrecht University - Faculty of Humanities
Course code
Course fee
€ 1599.00
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A unique chance to access one of history's greatest battlefields at Waterloo and to work with a world leading team of archaeologists and historians. Experience firsthand what it's like to uncover the past and to interpret those finds with the guidance of leading experts. This entry level course requires no previous archaeological experience and is open to registered university students and to serving and former military personnel.

This course offers a rare opportunity to participate in groundbreaking archaeological research together with the team of Waterloo Uncovered. Waterloo Uncovered is a charity and a research project which combines world-class archaeological investigation with veteran care and recovery. The battle of Waterloo comes to life under your own trowel. Participants have exclusive access to this astonishingly well preserved battlefield and the chance to learn both widely used and cutting edge field techniques alongside leading experts in battlefield archaeology.

Waterloo Uncovered’s charitable role is to support military veterans who are recovering from trauma or injury or are simply looking for a new career direction. The interaction between veterans and civilians, including students is at the heart of Waterloo Uncovered ethos. The team is international, from all the countries that took part in the Battle of Waterloo and more and participants vary widely in age and in their physical and mental health.

On this residential two week excavation, participants learn as much about each other as they do about the past. Utrecht students from University College Roosevelt were the first to learn alongside veterans on the excavation in 2015, a formula that has worked extremely well. Since then the project has only grown. 2019 will be the fifth full field season. In keeping with the spirit of collaboration the summer school is open to both students and veterans and serving military personnel with an interest in battlefield archaeology.

The course takes places on the world renowned battlefield site, primarily at Hougoumont Farm which was pivotal in the battle. Participants will be accommodated together with the Waterloo Uncovered team in a nearby hotel with good quality food and the full range of disabled facilities. Excavation takes places during the day Monday to Friday and there is a choice of evening and weekend activities, such as battlefield and museum tours and site seeing trips included in the program.

Participants will be assessed in two ways. Firstly on the basis of their progress towards learning a wide range of field skills, from excavation techniques to finds analysis and surveying. They will record this in a widely accepted BAJR archaeological skills passport. Secondly, participants may choose to create a written or digital reflection diary, blog or vlog or a written or digital record of their historical learning.

This course is linked to but is not a pre-requisite for the course "Battlefields Uncovered: introduction to archaeological and historical investigations of conflict" which is a taught Utrecht summer course hosted in Middelburg.

To protect the integrity of the excavation project places are limited and the Waterloo Uncovered team reserves the right to select participants carefully to ensure social harmony on this project.

Course director

dr. Floris van den Eijnde


The team from Waterloo Uncovered

Target audience

This course is aimed primarily at undergraduate students and serving and former military personnel wishing to learn about battlefield archaeology, or indeed archaeology in general. Battlefields serve as an example of how archaeological techniques can be used to access the events of a single day and to demonstrate the interaction between the historical and the archaeological record. No previous experience is necessary but an interest in the excavations and the ability to work collaboratively with a diverse group should be demonstrated. The course would also be open to graduates of other disciplines with an interest in the topics.
Because some participants on the excavation may be vulnerable, Waterloo Uncovered will interview participants and be selective about admissions.

Course aim

1. By the end of the course participants with have gained practical skills in a range of archaeological field techniques.
2. Participants will develop their historical knowledge of the battle of Waterloo.
3. Participants will develop their understanding of the interaction between historical and archaeological evidence.
4. Participants will experience working with others from very diverse international and social backgrounds. They will experience collaborative learning in groups with a range of ages and life experiences, civilian and military and with varying physical and mental health needs.

Study load

70 hours collaborative fieldwork on the excavation
14 hours extension activities and trips
14 hours independent work
Total 90 hours - 3.5 ECTS
Course duration 15 days


Course fee
€ 1599.00
Housing fee
€ 0.00

Housing through A third party

The cost of the course would include accommodation at hotel van der Valk Nivelles-Sud, all food and evening and weekend activities. Accomodation is from the night before the course and until the morning after the course finishes. Transport to the excavation is not included.

Course fee includes hotel room from the night of Saturday July 6th to Friday July 19th. Three meals a day are included from Sunday July 7th.


Please do not forget to upload your motivation letter and C.V. Please mention your Skype name on your C.V. and we will get back to you about the application process which will involve a short interview via Skype.

For this course you are required to upload the following documents when applying:

  • Motivation Letter
  • C.V.
  • Additional Application Form

More information


Application deadline: 16 July 2019