Dig in: an evaluation of the role of archaeological fieldwork for the improved wellbeing of military veterans

Paul Everill, Richard Bennett, Karen Burnell

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In 2011, Operation Nightingale was established to promote archaeology as a means to support the wellbeing and recovery of serving military personnel and veterans. Since then, the number of opportunities for participation has increased enormously. This article seeks to contextualise the current landscape of 'rehabilitation archaeology' for military personnel and veterans, through the presentation of data from the largest service evaluation to be based on standardised psychological measures undertaken to date. The results demonstrate improvements in wellbeing among veterans participating in fieldwork in 2018, including a reduction in the occurrence of anxiety, depression and feelings of isolation, and a greater sense of being valued.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-227
Number of pages16
Issue number373
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2020


  • Breaking Ground Heritage
  • Operation Nightingale
  • rehabilitation
  • veterans

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