to your journey into the Ancient World

Join me, Gillian Hovell, 'The Muddy Archaeologist'
As seen and heard on BBC News & BBC Radio programmes
and discover, explore and unearth the wonders of ancient civilizations.

Let me be your personal guide as we explore the Ancient World together!

Archaeology - Ancient History - Ancient Civilizations - Classical Literature - Latin ...
It's all here!

Check in on the image below for a FREE monthly LIVE Zoom session with me, The Muddy Archaeologist!  Donations accepted to support this amazing monthly presentation, or available Free.

Click the images below to check out these great AVAILABLE NOW talks and courses  (more following soon!)




Ancient History

Gift Vouchers



Whether you're a Time Team fan, student, or may be a teacher or academic or professional, then these courses are for YOU.   All courses are accessible for all and no previous experience is ever necessary.  

And if you have studied these topics before, all courses are academically sound and packed with information; they will complement your own knowledge and refresh your enthusiasm. 

If you're young or old, if you love exploring the world and our ancient history, then this is for you!


-  An expert and accessible tutor who has excavated at many internationally important sites: from Orkney's Neolithic Ness of Brodgar, to Roman Oplontis & Vindolanda and many others.   Being ex-BBC, I remain dedicated to the old mantra 'Educate, Inform and Entertain'.  Prepare to have the past brought vividly to life and to be taken on a journey that will change how you see the Ancient World ...

-   A series of sumptuously illustrated video sessions taking you through a thrilling and engaging narrative.

-   A special start up session with helpful guides such as a glossary, and an extra closing Next Steps lesson.

-  Useful downloadable notes and special handouts such as maps and tables for your to print off at home.

-  Bonus notes throughout, so that you can find and visit relevant archaeological sites for yourself, or further explore for yourself Latin lurking in the English language.

-  A LIVE Q&A online session (scheduled at one time, one date each month) with The Muddy Archaeologist with chat box to ask your questions and respond and be part of the Muddy Archaeologist online community.  It's your own personal FREE monthly Club for exploring the Ancient World!

- Absolutely no exams or tests except for short lightweight quizzes. These courses are for fun, discovery, learning and exploration - for us to share together.

- Stunning Value!  Comprehensive but Accessible, led by your professional Expert Lecturer.  Friendly & Fun.  Variety of Media. Student Support.  Interactive. Bonus free LIVE Monthly Q&A 'Members' Club'.  What a great package!

- FREE PREVIEWS available for many courses!  


  • What if I get stuck? NO PROBLEM. I'm here for you throughout your course - contact me privately by email and I shall support you. AND Don't forget - you can join the monthly LIVE Q&A sessions for FREE - discover yet more, and ask any questions!

  • Worried about time? NO PROBLEM You can start when you like, take as long as you like, and end when you like. You decide. And the course is fully mobile too - laptops and phones can both access it wherever you are, even when travelling or waiting for a train etc.

  • How do I pay? A selection of options for payment are available to make life as easy as possible for you:
    - One-off payments
    - Monthly installments
    - Group Discounts
    - Special Value Bundles

  • Still Unsure? No need to be - you can book with confidence. You have a 30-day money back no quibble guarantee.

Don't just take my word for it!

Read what others think of 'The Muddy Archaeologist'

Freddie Matthews   Director of Programme & Content at The Conduit
'It has been wonderful to host talks by Gillian as part of the British Museum's public programme. She is a passionate scholar and educator, with a flair for engaging audiences with dynamism, accessibility and fun.'

I was transported to this far off time and place, where the cultures, architecture and ways of these early inhabitants came vividly to life

Neolithic Orkney Online Student

I thoroughly enjoyed exploring 'Neolithic Orkney' with Gillian's expertise. The early story of these northern islands as related in her lectures was packed full of fascinating history and told in such an engaging way that I was transported to this far off time and place, where the cultures, architecture and ways of these early inhabitants came vividly to life.The extra notes and maps were a real bonus too. A great course!

Gillian’s course opens up the Neolithic world on Orkney

Neolithic Orkney online student

“Gillian’s course opens up the Neolithic world on Orkney. The course is fascinating and provides many interesting perspectives on Neolithic life. Gillian is an excellent tutor/guide, her passion for archaeology is definitely catching and she relates the subject to the participant on a real human level. The course has certainly inspired me to want to visit Orkney in the future and also continue with further online archaeologist courses.” LS

Really enjoying this course

Neolithic Orkney online student

I am really enjoying this course. Gillian has brought to life what it must have been to live in the Neolithic and every now and then includes a thought provoking comment or question which invites a deeper consideration of what the archaeological evidence might suggest. The lectures are clear and accompanied by excellent photographs and the accompanying notes include all the important points. Her enthusiasm for the subject shines through. I would love to go on an archaeological tour of Orkney with her to see the monuments covered in this course and experience the mystery and atmosphere of the landscape. The only criticism of this course is that it is too short.!

Inspiring, Reflective and Enjoyable

Orkney tour guest

I want to thank you very much indeed for such an inspiring, reflective and enjoyable holiday. You made it all that it was.



I enjoyed the course enormously and appreciated being able to follow it in my own time. I wanted to know more about Nero in preparation for a visit to the exhibition at the BM. It provided me with a wider perspective on his reign and a better understanding of the events on which Nero has been judged, and those which have often been overlooked. I found the format helpful and appreciated the the information sheets that I could print off. It was scholarly but within my grasp for which I was grateful.

Gillian brings learning to life

Course student

Gillian brings learning to life in a way that inspires future interest

Learned more in one hour

Public Talk Attendee

Learned more in one hour than I've understood in 20 years

I had no previous knowledge but this didn't matter

Course student

'I had no previous knowledge but this didn't matter and I learned a lot. The tutor's knowledge was extensive, she was interesting and enthusiastic, her slides were great, beautiful and relevant and made me want to visit the locations.'

Gillian Hovell is brilliant

Course student

‘Gillian Hovell is brilliant -  I have previously been on a cruise where she lectured and that influenced my decision to do this course.’

So Interesting

DH Student Neolithic Orkney

I have thoroughly enjoyed this course - wonderful tutor, excellent presentation and it has given me a much better understanding of this period. Can't wait to travel to Orkney! Rated 5 out of 5


Practical Latin

First Steps From the beginning
The Building Blocks enabling you to translate Latin phrases - Available NOW!
Stepping Out develop your skills - Available NOW!

Explore the roots of our English words
Learn Latin - proven to keep your brain agile!

Treat Yourself to the
Practical Latin Special Value Bundle
£430 for this complete experience of these comprehensive courses

Here's an sneak peek glimpse of the wonderful selection of courses that will soon be available from The Muddy Archaeologist Online Courses

Choose from:

Practical Latin

Ancient Civilisations of the Mediterranean

Classical Literature

Ancient Life

Biblical History

Practical Latin

Practical Latin 1: First Steps NOW AVAILABLE

Practical Latin 2: Stepping Out NOW AVAILABLE

Gain a thrilling new skill as you learn Latin in First Steps - Getting You Started with the building blocks of Latin. A natural and fun way to learn Latin using the examples all around us - and how to decipher the inscriptions as well as phrases we use everyday.

Polish and apply your knowledge in Practical Latin II: Stepping Out where you build your grammar and ability to 'go it alone' through inscriptions, famous classical quotes and Latin hidden around us.

It is proven that learning Latin helps to stimulate the brain - keep those grey cells active in these courses that will change the way you view not just Latin but English too.

These will be available to buy as single courses  or together as a 'Practical Latin' Special Value Bundle

Ancient Civilizations of the Mediterranean

Plan your personal tour of discovery of the Ancient Civilizations of the Mediterranean.    This is your chance to really understand the archaeology, sites and artefacts and, led by the Muddy Archaeologist, to discover how we can see the real people behind the glorious archaeological sites stones and artefacts.

COMING SOON: These courses will be available to buy singly or in a variety of Special Value Bundles.

Prehistoric Greece - Coming Soon: available as single courses 

or together in the Special Value Bundle 'Prehistoric Greek Civilizations'

Two Great Ancient Civilizations -  Coming Soon: available as single courses 

or together in the Value Bundle 'Phoenicians & Etruscans'

Ancient Greece - Coming Soon: available as single courses 

or in the Special Value Bundle 'Ancient Greek Civilizations'

Note for Teachers: Archaic Greece includes Sparta - great background for the curriculum!


Ancient Rome - Coming Soon:  available as single courses 

or in the Special Value Bundle 'Ancient Rome Value Bundle'

Classical Literature

Delve into Classical Literature and read the inspirational and fascinating wisdom and genius of the ancient writers.

From Homer to Athenian Drama and on to  the Roman Golden Age and beyond ...

COMING SOON: These will be available to buy singly or in a selection of Special Value Bundles: 


Homer & Athenian Drama available singly or in the 'Ancient Greek Literature Value Bundle'

Value Bundles: 

Lucretius, Virgil & Ovid will be available singly or with Homer in a Special Value Bundle 'Greek & Roman Epic'.

Lucretius & Cicero will be available singly or together as a Special Value Bundle 'Literature of the Roman Republic'.

Virgil and Ovid will be available singly or as a Special Value Bundle 'Augustan Literature'

Pliny's Natural History and Suetonius will be available singly or as a Special Value Bundle 'Imperial Roman Literature'.

Ancient Life  COMING SOON: Available singly 

or as an 'Ancient Mythology & Philosophy' Special Value Bundle


Biblical History - Available soon as series of single courses or in Special Value Bundles

Register NOW!
Absolutely free.
No obligation.

Sign up to get all the latest news on The Muddy Archaeologist Online Courses!

Don't miss out!
No need to buy any course,
just create an account so I can contact you with the latest news!

Gillian Hovell
'The Muddy Archaeologist'

Hi, I'm Gillian Hovell, known professionally as 'The Muddy Archaeologist'.
Welcome to this invitation to join my new exciting online courses.

If you're looking to expand your horizons or stretch and exercise your mind,
explore ancient cultures in an exciting and personal way
or to add a fresh dimension to your studies and knowledge
then you're in the right place!
For I present lively, passionate and engaging ancient history and archaeology that connects with our lives today and which bring the past vividly to life.

My life is spent lecturing nationally and internationally, and on tours and cruises of ancient sites from Orkney's Neolithic to the diverse cultures of the Ancient Mediterranean.
Some of you will know me from our travels in the UK and throughout the Mediterranean.
I lead groups for the Smithsonian Journeys, Australians Studying Abroad (ASA) and many other UK and international companies.

Some of you have heard me talk in public, locally or nationally and internationally - maybe at the British Museum! - or at our in-person courses at York University and local venues in Yorkshire.

Some of you are meeting me for the first time now
A special, hearty, warm and friendly welcome to you!
I am sure we shall get to connect in the video lessons, quizzes and, of course, in the monthly LIVE Q&A sessions that are a free bonus to ALL who are or ever have attended a Muddy Archaeologist Online Course

I love all my work. My joy is to transform your experience of the ancient world into one that is not 'just a load of old stones'; I help you to connect with the civilization, discover and share our common humanity and enjoy and appreciate the diversity, individuality and richness of each and every culture.
For I am passionate about revealing how archaeological sites and history are full of human life and passion. I love sharing the joy of ancient history in person, in books and articles, on the media and on line. I'm a prize-winning author and one of my books, 'Visiting the Past: Finding and Understanding Britain's Archaeology', shares with you how to explore the archaeology of the British Isles from prehistory up to the medieval age and even beyond.

After graduating in Latin and Ancient History from Exeter University, I worked in BBC Television and went on to become an award-winning freelance writer, author.
I have led a community archaeology project in Yorkshire and I have excavated at major sites in the UK and Europe - including Orkney's remarkable Ness of Brodgar site.

I now lecture nationally and internationally and at York University and speak at the British Museum. I share courses around the country and lecture throughout the UK and abroad for audiences that range from local societies and luncheon clubs to Classical Associations, The Arts Society, and international groups. Every event is tailored to YOU, whoever and wherever you are.
I offer you expertise, passion and a warm welcome.
Archaeology, Ancient History & Latin are for everyone: let me lead you on a journey into the past
with knowledge, great images, and a sense of fun and enjoyment.

Adding colour and depth to our lives today by digging deep into the past.

For more than just online courses