Public

Archaeo-drome project. Being teachers to be archaeologists!

Hi everybody,

It’s a pleasure to join Day of Archaeology 2016. Today I wish to share our project in Murcia (Spain), the Archaeodrome. This is a project based on the excavation of a site with teens, kids and people of the local communities, in order to engage young people in Archaeology labours. Also it is useful for us, young archaeologists without jobs, to be archaeologists but through being teachers.

We do this every summer, in July, in collaboration with the Murcia City Council, Cepaim foundation, and La Estación communitarian center, and also with our association Arqueología de Guardia.

JoseAMarmol(C)2016-3

This year 2016 an amount of 15 young people participated in the Archaeodrome excavation, as you can see in the pics. Further, it helps me to develop creative practices in the context of an archaeological excavation, thinking theoretical and practically in Creative Archaeology and the blurring of the frontiers between Art and Archaeology.

JoseAMarmol(C)2016-2

JoseAMarmol(C)2016-1

See you!

Best regards,

José A. Mármol


Artefact Reproduction as a Trade

My name is Martin Lominy. I’m a trained archaeologist, a career educator, a self-taught craftsman and the founder of Aboriginal Technologies Autochtones, a Quebec based business with an educational mission aimed at providing the general public with a more practical vision of the past and a better understanding of aboriginal cultures of North America through the experimentation of ancient technologies.  Since 2005 we have provided artefact replicas, educational workshops, interactive conferences, craft demonstrations and consultation services for a variety of institutions such as schools, colleges, universities, interpretation centers and museums across Canada and beyond. We also enjoy collaborating on various projects ranging from experimental archaeology to movie sets. Rather than summarize too much information or present one of many projects, I’m offering here a photo essay of various subjects and activities we have worked on since last year’s post.

Collaboration with a PhD student from the University of Montreal to make and test Aurignacian arrows. Photo credit: Luc Doyon

Photo credit: Luc Doyon

Collaboration with PhD student Luc Doyon from the University of Montreal to make and test Aurignacian arrows on an animal target.

Educational kit designed for Quebec schools to supplement the teaching program on Iroquoian society through activities based on experimental archaeology.

Educational kit designed for Quebec schools to supplement the teaching program on Iroquoian society through activities based on experimental archaeology.

Part of large order of Northwest coast fishing tools for a Hollywood movie set.

Part of a large order of Northwest coast fishing tool replicas for the movie set of Night at the Museum 3.

Stone axe from our collection used by local archaeology cooperative Gaïa for a dwelling reconstruction experiment. Photo credit: Francine Gélinas

Photo credit: Francine Gélinas

Stone axe replica from our collection used by archaeology consultants Gaïa for a dwelling reconstruction experiment.

Set of stone tools made for a public dig simulation at a local interpretation enter.

Set of stone tool replicas made for a public dig simulation at Pointe-du-Buisson museum.

Collaboration with survival school Les Primitifs to teach a group the production techniques of aboriginal fishing technologies.

Photo credit: Mathieu Hébert

Collaboration with survival school Les Primitifs to teach the production techniques of aboriginal fishing technologies.

Set of prehistoric bone tool replicas for educational activities interpretation in a museum.

Set of prehistoric bone tool replicas for interpretation activities in a museum.

Experimenting the production of a prehistoric pitch recipe based on recent discoveries.

Experimenting the production of a prehistoric pitch recipe based on recent discoveries.

Young apprentice collecting raw materials for cordage production. Most of our replicas are made with materials that we harvest ourselves.

Young apprentice collecting raw materials for cordage production. Most of our replicas are made with materials that we harvest ourselves.

Some pottery tools from our collection used in an experimental workshop with university students.

Some pottery tools from our collection used in an experimental workshop with university students.

Assisting a class of grade school students in a model project on aboriginal people.

Assisting a class of grade school students in a model project on aboriginal lifestyles.

Most archaeologists get covered in dirt. We mostly get covered in dust.

Most archaeologists get covered in dirt. We mostly get covered in dust.

It seems most of our projects begin like this.

It seems most of our projects begin like this.

One of our most popular items: cooked knives. Just as we use it for artifact replication, our customers used it to rediscover old woodworking techniques.

One of our most popular items: crooked knife. Just as we use it in our reproduction process, our customers used it to rediscover old woodworking techniques.

A variety of Northwest Coast artifact replicas for a school program on aboriginal culture in British Columbia.

A variety of artefact replicas for a school program on aboriginal culture.

A custom replica for a European collector. Many of our clients order pieces that they could otherwise have in their collection.

A custom replica of a warclub for a private collector. Many of our clients order pieces that they could not otherwise have in their collection.

Research in Archaeology – A Day in the Archives

This time last year I was finishing writing up my postgraduate degree thesis whilst panicking amongst books, AutoCAD and copious amounts of tea. As I procrastinated on twitter (after doing lots of work, of course) I avidly followed last years Day of Archaeology, wondering to myself if I’d be in a position to post anything for the next event.

Fast forward a year and here I am telling you all my day in archaeology. I’m Cath Poucher and I’ve just started my new job as Archives Services Officer for English Heritage in their archives:

http://www.englishheritagearchives.org.uk/

This job is perfect for me as it combines my love of research, archaeology and working with the public. Although I’m very new (I only started this month) I am thoroughly enjoying it and am learning something new every day, and this for me is the most important part of any career or volunteer project. My daily life does not directly involve working in a “traditional” archaeological setting; I do not excavate or deal with physical remains on a daily basis. Nevertheless, I assist both heritage professionals and members of the public alike to carry out a variety of projects by helping them to undertake documentary research, and this is a very important part of archaeology.

My day started with the usual morning check of emails and answering requests from previous enquiries I have already carried out and undertaken. A big part of my day involves carrying out research of our archival holdings on behalf of the public, whether on their house or searching for plans of a particular English Heritage property. This means that I often have to search and handle a variety of archives ranging from measured drawings and 18th and 19th century building sales catalogues to photographs. These photographs can range in date from present day to the 19th century.

Today was no different to this; I have been completing research about small listed houses in Gloucestershire and searching plans and elevations of Osbourne House, Isle of Wight and Kenilworth Castle, Warwickshire. Each day is different in that I never know what I am going be doing one day to the next, and this is what makes me so passionate about what I do. In the afternoon, I contacted customers and sent out the information I had found, and answered queries about our archives. I’m still learning my job but am enjoying every minute- especially learning about different areas of England I didn’t know anything about. At the end of the day I organised visits to the archive for customers and started new enquiries, ordering some archives from our cold store. Much of our holdings is fragile and is stored in climate controlled conditions and has to be acclimatised to room temperature before it can be viewed. As this takes 24 hours, ordering in advance is essential.

So this is my day in archaeology; probably not as muddy as others, but equally fascinating and I’m looking forward to many more…

(Note: the words, thoughts, and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.)

 

Education, Community and Irish Archaeological Research

Hi. My name is Christina O’Regan and I am the Fieldwork and Educational Director of Irish Archaeological Research (IAR). Three colleagues and I set up this non-profit social organisation in early 2011 with the aim of getting the public more involved with archaeology through education, workshops, and community events. We are all from commercial archaeological backgrounds and wanted to develop our experience in community archaeology.

A focus has been the delivery of school workshops, typically to second level students in years 8 – 12. These workshops begin with a general introduction to the archaeology of Ireland, followed by a practical session varying from how to make and decorate prehistoric-style pottery, learning about diet through artificial ‘poo’ dissection, hands-on interaction with genuine and replica artefacts and prehistoric hunting techniques. These workshops have been incredibly successful, with benefits for students and teachers alike.

My work in IAR varies from day-to-day as I develop workshops, plan for future events and shoot off a few emails to raise the profile of IAR within the archaeological and educational sectors.

For this year’s Festival of British Archaeology, we have decided to host two family-orientated events; the first at Glenariff Forest Park (July 21st & 22nd) and the second at Gosford Forest Park (July 28th & 29th). Our experience with the school workshops has shown us that the more practical the day, the better. Pottery workshops, archery, demonstrations of flint knapping and a children’s activity area will ensure there is something for everyone to enjoy. There will also be a mini museum, with an interactive artefacts table as well as information on the archaeology of the areas where the events will be held (Antrim and Armagh). The Northern Ireland Environment Agency have very generously granted us a loan of some artefacts from both counties and I joyously spent an afternoon sifting through their stores, picking out choice artefacts with the help of Andrew Gault from the Agency. We are also busy planning similar events for National Heritage Week in the Republic of Ireland, August 18th – 26th.

A trial run of the Open Air Museum at the Carnival of Colours, Londonderry showed us the enormous benefits this type of venture can have in increasing awareness of local heritage within communities.

Social media has been a lifeline for IAR with our Facebook page now ‘liked’ by over 1,000 people. The page allows us to announce all of our upcoming events as well as share archaeological discoveries and support other institutions and companies. Facebook also allows us to easily disseminate our free online magazine, Irish Archaeological Research and we have just put out a call for articles for the fourth (summer) edition. As editor of the e-zine, I envisage many late nights over the coming weeks organising layout and thinking up witty headlines!

For more information on any of our events see www.irisharchaeologicalresearch.com

 

RCAHMS – Search Room Visitors

As well as our online resources, RCAHMS also houses a public Search Room where visitors and volunteers can gain access to our drawings, photographs and manuscripts, with members of staff on hand at all times to provide assistance. For Day of Archaeology we went along to ask visitors what they were working on.

A regular volunteer at RCAHMS Hugh Dinwoodie, was busy indexing documentation stored here from excavations at Fast Castle between 1971 and 1986 carried out by the Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society.  As a member of the Society, Hugh has been volunteering at RCAHMS and working on the results of these excavations for 4 or 5 years. With a keen interest in archaeology and now with knowledge of the RCAHMS cataloguing system, Hugh volunteers regularly.

Volunteer takes time out to explain his work in the RCAHMS Search Room.

 The Search Room is regularly busy with members of the public researching various projects and already today we have had two visitors in researching Urquhart Castle, Medieval Castle building techniques, Iron Age archaeology and the development and spread of Celtic culture across Europe to Britain.

RCAHMS – Brian Wilkinson Scotland’s Rural Past Project

Happy Day of Archaeology to everyone! RCAHMS blog contributions will be filtered out over the course of the day so make sure to check back for more videos, photo’s and information from what our staff get up to.

Below is the video contribution from Brian Wilkinson, SRP Education Officer at RCAHMS, for Day of Archaeology 2011. Here he discusses his current work involving the Scotland’s Rural Past Project, including visits to schools, the recent publication and how to find out more information.

You can visit the Scotland’s Rural Past website for more information.