Museum of London offers training to be an ‘Indiana Jones’ archaologist

Museum of London's Heather Knight on site of Shakespeare's theatre in Shoreditch

Museum of London's Heather Knight on site of Shakespeare's theatre in Shoreditch - Credit: Museum of London

Anyone fancying themselves as Indiana Jones who has ever wondered what life was like in their pocket of London in times gone by is being offered the chance to train as an archaeologist—and they don’t need a university degree.

Museum of London archaeologist at work on site

Museum of London archaeologist at work on site - Credit: Museum of London

An opportunity to join a six-month paid-traineeship to become a field archaeologist is being offered by Museum of London Archaeology and Tower Hamlets Council in east London, with just 10 places available.

The scheme starts in September, with trainees studying for an NVQ while practicing the skill needed in field archaeology.

Trainees undertake classroom and on-site learning led by professional archaeologists.

Open space has been donated by Tower Hamlets local authority at Allen Gardens in Spitalfields, just off Brick Lane, for recruits to perfect skills in practical excavation and recording.

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“I don’t have an archaeology degree,” Museum of London’s Heather Knight revealed. “But my practical experience has more than equipped me for a rewarding career in archaeology.

“I’ve been lucky enough to lead some of London’s most important archaeological digs, including excavating the two Shakespearean playhouses in Shoreditch.”

The trainees under the Museum of London Archaeology organisation will be taught the basics of object identification, environmental sampling, survey techniques and historical research, as well as getting hands-on expertise to succeed as a field archaeologist.

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William McKee, chairman of Tilfen Land property developments which is involved in the scheme, said: “The Archaeology traineeship has been created as a much-needed opportunity for those who may not enter into higher education—but are no less dedicated, able or ambitious than those that do.”

Candidates must live in London and able to commit to a full-time six-month Archaeology traineeship—and have “a heartfelt interest in uncovering London’s history and not be afraid of a bit of mud!”

Applications for the traineeship can be made online or email to

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