The Festival of Archaeology programme has now been published. We hope you have the dates in your diaries and will be here, either looking after our visitors, supporting the show people and speakers, or simply enjoying the Festival.
It is always a great day out for families, with the living history displays and craft activities very popular with the young. We have quality speakers again, and a superb range of topics.
Dr Ellen Royrvik will talk about our disputed Viking heritage. This is very much in the news at the moment. Fans of Lindsey Davis’ Falco novels will be thrilled to meet her and hear her talk about her work and tell us about a whole new series of books. Richard Osgood, frequently appearing on TV as a result of his involvement with military veterans’ archaeological work and with digs within battle sites, will be bringing a tank (sort of..) and talking about excavating WWI tanks at Bullecourt.
Alex Hildred will be speaking about the Mary Rose. Have you been to the new Mary Rose museum at Portsmouth? Not to be missed! Nathalie Barrett from the University of Winchester will be telling us about the famous Pitt-Rivers landscape models, many of which are in our museum with one or two on display in the Wessex Gallery. They are beautiful, as well as functional, representations of his excavations.
Dr Louise Love and Prof Margaret Cox will tell the story of a joint Australian and British government mission to recover soldiers from mass graves in France. We have, sadly, become used to the dead being flown back from battlefields, but it was not so one hundred years ago. Scientific and historical research to identify the soldiers led to their being interred in new Commonwealth graves.
A great friend of the museum, Dr David Roberts, will be here to talk about his work with Historic England on the Stonehenge World Heritage Site. This topic is always fascinating as we continue to struggle to understand this exciting landscape which we all call home. And every time we excavate, we find more. And we find more questions!
Finally, we welcome back more friends of the museum – Dr Phil Harding, with Lorraine Mepham, and Dr Alex Langlands. Phil will be digging outside the historic cafe building and speaking about his findings on the Sunday, while Alex and his team will be in the museum all weekend showing and talking about the fruits of their 2017/18 work at Old Sarum.
Phil and his ‘dig’ 2017 (during a brief dry spell!) Photo: Ash Mills
Pause to consider how lucky we are to have the opportunity to meet and listen to professionals of this calibre, speaking about cutting edge archaeology and historical research, All on one weekend.