Recovery of Human Remains Training

Recovery of Human Remains Training

Breaking Ground Heritage are pleased to be able to offer a two day practical workshop on the recovery of human remains. This training has been developed to give you practical skills in the recovery of skeletal remains and any associated artefacts. A working knowledge of the processes and the ethical considerations will be covered. 

The course will be delivered by archaeologists from BGH who have a wealth of knowledge on this subject, working in the UK and abroad, on site ranging from prehistoric to WW2 and most periods in-between.

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Course Aims:

To provide participants with an opportunity to recover and record human skeletal remains and associated artefacts to professional archaeological standards.

Course Objectives:

The objectives of the course are to enable delegates to:

• Understand the legal and ethical requirements to be followed on finding human remains and/or artefacts;

• Explore the differences in burial practice and deposition of grave goods through time;

• Work safely when recovering human remains and any associated artefacts;

• Understand and practically demonstrate archaeological techniques associated with the recovery of human skeletal remains;

• Understand and demonstrate the importance of accurately recording burials and artefacts using photography and specific      archaeological methods;

• Provide an interpretation of the practice burials.

This course is open to anyone who has an interest in archaeology and is 16 years or over. 

This is not a physically demanding course and we can always adapt to suit individuals needs. 

You do not have to have served in the military to attend.

Course dates

More dates TBC

Location and costs


Medecroft Building, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 4NR.

Costs TBC

Our payment and cancellation terms

We, Breaking Ground Heritage CIC (BGH), have incurred costs and charges to be able to run our course and therefore:-

1. When you must pay – we ask that you pay the course fees as soon as you receive confirmation from BGH that your place on the course has been reserved. Only after receipt of your immediate payment can your place on the course be formally allocated.  

2. Cancellation charges – if you cancel your place on the course, we will have to retain a cancellation charge of £50 in order to cover our already incurred costs and charges (Cancellation Charge). We will reimburse the remainder of the course fees paid by you less the Cancellation Charge, no later than 14 days of the course has been run.

Course Tutors

Richard Osgood MLitt, MCIFA, FSA, FSA (Scot)

Richard is a professional archaeologist who studied at the Universities of Wales and Oxford. He is currently the Senior Archaeologist at the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (part of the MOD) where he leads a team of archaeologists.

Widely published, Richard has excavated human remains of prehistoric, Roman, Saxon, Medieval, post-medieval and modern vintage. He is the Co-founder and archaeology lead of Op Nightingale and has directed archaeological excavations at Ypres, Messines, Mametz Wood (Somme) and Bullecourt from a First World War perspective. He designed this course to meet requirements of human remains recovery he encountered on these field programmes.

Richard is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and Scotland, a visiting fellow at the University of Cardiff, and a visiting teacher at Cranfield Forensics institute. He is also a full member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

Richard was awarded Archaeologist of the Year 2019.

Dickie Bennett MA, MCIfA

Dickie spent nearly 20 years in the Royal Marine Commandos, where he sustained life altering injuries in Afghanistan. Upon his discharge he worked as a Senior project manager in Africa and as a security consultant in for shipping companies.


Dickie completed his Undergraduate and Masters Degrees in Archaeology at the University of Exeter, setting up BGH to help others that had faced similar challenges in life to himself.


Dickie has been instructing and teaching adults for over 20 years in a wide range of subjects, he is also NVQ Assessor and mentor on the BGH projects.


Dickie main focus these days is on the promotion of wellbeing to the military community through the participation in heritage based projects.

David Ashby MA

Throughout his childhood David was passionate about Archaeology and was an avid member of the Oxfordshire Young Archaeologists Club (YAC). In 2008 David went to study at the University of Winchester achieving a 1st Class Honours Degree in Archaeological Practice and then a Research Master’s degree in Archaeology.


David is currently undertaking a part-time PhD, also at Winchester University and works as the Laboratory Technician for Archaeology and Forensic Studies at the University. He has experience of a wide range of excavation and geophysics skills and is responsible for site health and safety. David also undertakes geoarchaeological and environmental archaeological work for the Department of Archaeology's consultancy, ARCA.


David is an advocate for teaching archeologically skills to the next generation of archaeologists, as well as supporting community archaeology projects. He is also the Scout Leader of the 8th Winchester Scout Troop.

Briony Lalor MA

Briony is an enthusiastic archaeologist who has worked in the field with Wessex Archaeology and has extensive experience of recovering human remains. She spends a great deal of her time in a voluntary capacity supporting a range of archaeological projects.

Having experienced working with military veterans on Operation Nightingale excavations she has become a keen supporter of the work carried out by Breaking Ground Heritage.


Originally, Briony trained as a biology teacher and then went on to have a 22 year career with the Automobile Association which encompassed Learning & Development and project management roles across the AA and Centrica. During this time she achieved an MA in Personal and Organisational Development. When she finally left the AA Briony ran her own consultancy for nine years working with a variety of clients including the Police Service and a number of SMEs.

Harvey Mills ARPS

Harvey Mills is a professional freelance photographer with many years experience under his belt. He has been awarded a coveted Distinction by the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS), and is a full member currently working towards Fellowship status - the highest award granted by the Society. In 2010, Harvey was a shortlisted finalist for the UK Photographer Of The Year.


Harvey works across the UK and internationally, selected by clients for his creative eye and distinctive style, he is equally at home shooting fine-art images; bringing commercial visions to life, or capturing decisive moments with his impactful documentary photography.


Harvey’s work is widely published in domestic and international publications, and he has been exhibited in National galleries.


Since 2014, Harvey has been involved with Operation Nightingale and, more recently, Breaking Ground Heritage, delivering a full photographic service to archaeological projects ranging from the Anglo-Saxon period through to Modern Conflict archaeology of the First and Second World Wars. His remit covers all aspects of archaeology work, from documenting excavation processes; forensic work during the recovery of human remains, and technical finds images to name a few. His work is frequently published in National newspapers and media, archaeological publications and associated journals.


Whilst he has always considered himself to be a photographer, Harvey has previously worked in corporate environments, in senior learning and development roles, as the Head Of Human Resources for a large national PLC and latterly as an independent L&D consultant.