Archaeology for You 2014, celebrating the National Festival of Archaeology

Although Saturday 12th of July, the day of our fourth annual Archaeology for You event, was preceded by some impressive storms and rain, the wet weather held off for the day.

As in previous years we set up our eight Archaeology for You activity areas on the lawn in the gardens at the front of Quex House. With only some areas under shelters, our fingers were tightly crossed that the weather would stay calm over the day for the activities that were set up in the open air. The upper windows of Quex House provided a convenient vantage point for a photograph to be taken of our team of Trust Staff and volunteers setting up for the event.

Setting up for Archaeology for you 2014
Set up for Archaeology for you 2014, viewed from Quex House

Iron Age and Early Roman re-enactment group De Bello Canzio joined us again this year bringing a sense of the real lives behind the objects from that era that we had on display and our activities were arranged in the form a large circle so that people could progress from experiencing the methods of investigation in the field, toward the interpretation of objects and their use in the Re-living Ancient Life activity area.

Romans from De Bello Canzio with a new recruit to the Legions
Romans from De Bello Canzio with a new recruit to the Legions

The new Archaeology for You logo we launched for the event this year was used on our display boards to guide people to each of the activities.

Our Logo in action on the activity signs
Our Logo in action on the activity signs

This year, each of the areas where methods of practical archaeological investigation were demonstrated was linked by the four corner posts of a 10 metre square, fitted with strings and tapes to demonstrate how grids form the backbone of archaeological research. This formed the arena for the demonstration of site surveying using Geophysical and Aerial Survey in Seeing Beneath the Soil and the hands on Dig and Discover boxes, in their new green livery. The grid took centre stage as the framework for Pictures, Plans and Paperwork, where people could learn about the recording process and for Evidence from Objects where finds could be processed and examined for clues about the past.

Our aim for Archaeology for You is to build a complete experience of the processes that archaeologists use to digs and the methods used to make records and understand the evidence of the past, which anyone can take part in. Many people took part in our Give it a Swirl

Giving an environmental sample a swirl
Giving an environmental sample a swirl

introduction to processing samples taken for environmental evidence and busy potters made pre-historic style vessels at Inspired by the Past. Great imagination was also used to create mosaics that reflected favourite themes from mythology and the modern world.

Every year we try to introduce a new element to the activities at Archaeology for You and in our Bones and Burials area this year we recreated a burial, which had to be carefully excavated and recorded over the day.

With the aid of our other teaching skeleton and books people taking part in activity can get a feel for the complicated digging and recording that is needed to get the most information from each burial that is investigated by archaeologists.

Excavating in the Trust for Thanet Archaeology new skeleton activity
Excavating in the new skeleton activity

Archaeology for You is one of the education activities of the Trust for Thanet Archaeology that is supported by a grant from the Education Committee of the Kent Archaeological Society. The Powell-Cotton Museum is generous in allowing us access to their gardens for the event each year and the Director and staff of the Museum give a great deal of support to the event.

We would like to thank everyone who came along on the day and took part, we learn as much each year from the people who take part in Archaeology for You as they do taking part in our archaeological activities for all ages.

Logo for Archaeology for You

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