How would I describe an average day with Dig It! 2017? I don’t think that exists. Let’s just start with today…
Full disclosure: I’m not an archaeologist (“booo, hiss, get off the stage”). I’m the Communications Officer at Dig It! 2017, the year-long celebration of Scottish archaeology. I HAVE been on a dig, so you can’t kick me out, right? And anyway, archaeology is for everybody!
What is Dig It! 2017? We take all of the amazing events that happens across this sector and pull it into one big (continually changing) programme. We have 75 events on the website at the moment, which range from excavations to LEGO – most are free and all of them are open to the public.
We also team up with groups and organisations of all sizes to promote their amazing work. We’re currently running a competition to find Scotland’s six most spectacular Hidden Gems, which has helped raise awareness and create content/coverage for the 28 nominees. Voting closes on Monday, so head over to the Dig It! 2017 Facebook page soon if you’d like to get involved.
Back to the original question: how would I describe my day? As I mentioned, the Hidden Gems campaign closes soon so I’m working on the official announcement for the six winners. My document is covered in red marks and “TBC” notes, since we don’t actually know who has won yet! I’ll also add a few events to the digital programme, such as the Highland Archaeology Festival. I have my eyes on their pub quiz…
In the afternoon, I’ll work on the Dig It! 2017 article for the next Society of Antiquaries of Scotland newsletter. We share we share our offices with the Society, which means that the person who coordinates the newsletter is just down the hall. This is excellent motivation to finish the article on time (I’m working on it, Andrea – I promise!).
Finally, I’ll turn to the promotion for our upcoming event with the Auchindrain Township in Argyll. ‘Fyne Food, Fyne Ales, Fyne Music’ will do what it says on the tin, in addition to craft activities, a dig and an exhibition. The event is part of a wider partnership between Auchindrain, Xchange Scotland and Dig It! 2017. Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery and Museums Galleries Scotland, we will enable 12 young people with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds to take part in the professionally‐supervised excavation of a site within Auchindrain, and create a small exhibition of their finds. The press release is ready to go, so today I’ll be reaching out to other organisations in Argyll to see if we can create more of a buzz around the event.
Does that sound boring? Don’t leave yet! I haven’t even said what the Project Manager is doing today. He’s at a festival!
Dig It! 2017 is all about meeting people halfway, so we’re bringing archaeology to the Mugstock Festival near Glasgow. We like to draw people in with something fun and then BAM – hit them with knowledge (fun knowledge).
For this family-friendly festival, we’ve teamed up with Archaeology Scotland to work with three museum outreach students to try out different forms of engagement. As we’re running with the dragon/Viking theme, people can also explore artefacts with Sketchfab and use our guides to paint their own message in Viking ruins. We also have handling kits with ‘real’ objects, 3D printed objects (plus a 3D printer), and our Green Screen Photo Booth. This is the first time that we’ve brought our Green Screen to a festival with alcohol, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the results on Monday. In my experience, the most outrageous the poses make for the best photos. I expect great things from Mugstock.
Dig It! 2017 is coordinated by Archaeology Scotland and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and primarily funded by Historic Environment Scotland
Featured image by John Felix