10 Last-Minute Holiday Gift Ideas For Archaeology Lovers


Uh oh, did you leave it a bit late to find the archaeology-lover in your life the perfect holiday gift?

Not to worry, DigVentures is here to save the day; no matter how late you’ve left it, we can guarantee you’ll be able to get at least one thing on this list in time to keep you out of trouble.

1. The Stocking Filler


LEGO Iron Age broch (£5) Archaeologists like problem solving, and if there’s one thing that’s still a puzzle it’s how ancient Scots built the multi-storey towers known as brochs. This LEGO version might make it look pretty simple, but even this uses 100 pieces. The best thing about it is that it’s all part of an ongoing project to rebuild a REAL Iron Age broch. Just head to the LEGO store to buy these pieces, and a copy of these instructions to create your own archaeologically accurate stocking filler gift set.

2. The Archaeology Soap That’s Actually Archaeology, Not Palaeontology


Aztec Serpent Soap Bar £5 Remember the unfortunately misnamed ‘archaeology soap’ that revealed a dinosaur in the middle? If there’s one gift that’s bound to upset an archaeology-lover it’s something that confuses us with palaeontologists. If you don’t want someone yelling ‘BUT ARCHAEOLOGISTS DON’T DIG DINOSAURS’ at you, then get them a REAL archaeology soap bar from Jbabs instead – you can even choose the scent. Thankfully ‘eau d’Phil Harding’ is not on the menu.

3. The Real Archaeological Experience


DigVentures Gift Certificates £165-£625 What could be a better excuse to get out of town for a weekend than the chance to do real archaeology at one of the most exciting excavation sites in the UK? With DigVentures, you get a fully immersive, action-packed experience with some of the best professional archaeologists around. Whether you dig a Neolithic monument or an Anglo-Saxon monastery, there are plenty of sites to choose from in 2017. Go on, get out there and help make a real archaeological discovery.

4. The Book


Meetings With Remarkable Manuscripts £25 Our favourite manuscript fact is that the Lindisfarne Gospels weigh as much as a badger, until we read this book. Turns out, Christopher de Hemel has a knack for sharing manuscript facts than are way, way better than that. So good in fact is his take on Medieval manuscripts that his book was shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year. What could be better for the archaeology-book-lover than… a book about ancient books?

5. The Piece Of Ancient Bling


Iron Age bangle, £50 When it comes to retro, no-one is going to beat an archaeologist at their own game; most sensible people would stop at the 70s, but us archaeologists take it all the way back to the Iron Age. And it’s little wonder when you see something like this stunning bracelet, based on a real gold torc found by a metal detectorist in Scotland, which dates back to 300BC. You can get hold of it at the British Museum shop.

6. The Toolbox Trophy


Archaeology trowel £10 Whether they prefer the springy American Marshalltown, or the sturdy British WHS, every archaeology-lover needs a gem in their toolbox. You could try and get hold of something more exotic like a Spanish Bellota, or buy a standard WHS and personalise it with enamel paint (even nail varnish will do) for the perfect accompaniment to that DigVentures Dig Experience Gift Certificate you just bought them… wink wink.

7. The Tea Mug

many munsell mugs

Munsell soil colour chart mug £7.50 From multi-purpose tools, to multi-purpose mugs, this fieldwork essential remains a highlight of our holiday gift list. Spot check your soil colours, or use it to make sure your trenchmates know just how you take your tea. Now there’s no excuse for an unsatisfactory brew. Ours is a 7.5YR 7/8 thanks very much.

8. The Board Game

carcassonne hunters gatherers

Carcassone Hunters & Gatherers (£25) Fed up with monopoly? Or just like a bit of role play? Then it’s time to unleash your inner hunter-gatherer with this board game that’s ideal for archaeology lovers. Each player has a handful of tiles, and as your territory expands, the game rests on making tough decisions about your survival strategy – hunt, gather or fish – and most importantly, where to place your home. Turns out even then it was all location, location, location.

9. The Family Adventure

DigCamp - Poulton - Rosie Hannah

DigCamp £85-£125 Are you a kid, or are you a big kid? Doesn’t matter, because a DigVentures DigCamp Gift Certificate lets you live out your childhood dream of being an archaeologist… along with your children! No sandpits, just real trenches full of real artefacts, and real archaeologists on hand to help you discover them.

10. The One You Can Make Yourself


Bronze Age Cookie Hoard (priceless) You can’t eat treasure, but you can eat… COOKIES! Make a batch of artefact-inspired cookies, put them in a tin, and tadah – you’ve got the perfect edible gift. You can even add typical Bronze Age ingredients like flax, hazelnut, berries or apple to the cookie mix for an extra level of archaeological authenticity. Just don’t go burying it in the back yard for 2,000 years.

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Written by Maiya Pina-Dacier

Head of Community at DigVentures, Maiya digs with a trowel in one hand, and a Twitter feed in the other. She reports on all our discoveries live from the trenches, and keeps our Site Hut full of the latest archaeology news. Got a story? Just drop her a line...

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