July 17, 2014 – The 24th annual Festival of Archaeology, the largest celebration of archaeology in the world, has started on 12 July 2014 and will run until 27 July with over 1000 events – many free – right across the UK.
Coordinated by the UK’s leading archaeology charity, the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), and run by over 400 museums and heritage organisations, the Festival gives the public the chance to have a go at digging and recording finds, watch experts at work and find out about the latest discoveries in their area.
Re-enactment at the Festival of History (now History Live!). Credit: CBA.
The celebrations will be fronted by CBA President Dan Snow who is enthusiastic about the opportunities the Festival gives everyone to experience their past at first hand.
“Archaeology gives us a tangible connection with our past, telling us not just about how our prehistoric ancestors lived millions of years ago, but what everyday life was like for our families in the Industrial Revolution or during Britain’s First World War Home Front.
“This summer, I plan to be out and about with my family, enjoying the hundreds of Festival of Archaeology events on offer around the country covering every aspect of our history. Now it’s your chance to dig into the past and have your own archaeology adventure!”
Bronze Age craftsman. © Salisbury Museum.
Festival-goers can experience the past as a Roman at Segontium Roman Fort in Wales or Chesters Roman Fort on Hadrian’s Wall, be a medieval pilgrim in Bristol, or try Egyptian mummification with young volunteers in Swansea. Enjoy living history at archaeology days throughout the country. Take a rare glimpse inside working structures from our industrial and military past, from windmills and a restored Victorian hydroelectric power station in Yorkshire, to cold war bunkers and an 1830s Stephenson railway tunnel. Enjoy talks on new discoveries and archaeologist-led walks and talks through prehistory and our industrial past, from Anglo-Saxon Suffolk and Victorian Sheffield, to Shropshire’s magnificent Ironbridge Gorge.
Always wanted to have a go at archaeology yourself? Local experts help you to get hands on. Learn about the cutting-edge technology behind archaeology and have a go at rock art recording and 3D photogrammetry in North West Wales or explore the coast path on a geocaching trail. Discover your own finds on the Tower of London Thames foreshore, learn about the archaeology of the First World War in Norfolk or take part in a community dig at the National Trust’s Petworth Park in Sussex. Uncover Vanburgh’s 18th century garden paths near Bristol or clean up a stone circle in Cornwall.
“Each year the Festival of Archaeology allows archaeologists to open their doors and invite people in. The result is a gala of everything that is good about our past”, says archaeologist and former Time Team presenter, Phil Harding
The Festival kicks off the summer holidays with hundreds of activities to help you, your children and grandchildren to enjoy archaeology together. Look up what’s on in your area using the online events search.
See the latest events on the Festival website.