Day of Archaeology 2013 – LAARC Lottery! (Intro)

LAARC Archive stores

The London Archaeological Archive & Research Centre is the WORLD’s largest archaeological archive.

We’re pretty big.

Millions of artefacts big.

So how to choose what to share for the Day of Archaeology? Let’s play a little game.

Following on from the fun we had last year, we’ve brought back our interactive LAARC Lottery. We have five major areas of the Archive to explore: General finds, Registered finds, Metal, Paper Records and Environmental.

Each hour from 12 until 5 today we will be exploring some of our archaeological finds interactively and completely randomly. But we need your help. Here’s what to do.

  1. We’ll give you a range of numbers
  2. You tweet us a random number from within that range
  3. We head to the archive shelf that has the matching number
  4. We show you what sits on that shelf


First up we’re exploring our General finds: artefacts that are normally treated as an assemblage – pottery, animal bone, building material etc. – and which make up the bread and butter of London’s archaeological material. We have 6210 shelves of general finds in the archive, so what we would like you to do is suggest a shelf number between 1 and 6738, either by Twitter using the hashtags #dayofarch #LAARC or #LAARCLottery, or by leaving a comment below, which we will then go to, photograph and blog about the objects we find there.

So get tweeting / commenting!

The comic strip: Find of the Day

Promoting the project takes many different forms. As a PR-type person, I’d argue that all finds and information from any archaeological project only take on value when their existence is communicated. This is an amazing time for being able to reach people without having to rely on the purchase of a newspaper, seeing or hearing a broadcast, waiting for an article or book publication…


A Town Unearthed has Heritage Lottery funding. It’s only a couple of years ago that I wrote a communications plan for a successful BIG Lottery grant of nearly £300K without mentioning social media. I can’t see that happening today. One of ATU’s lovelier means of communication is through the development of a wonderful comic strip. You’ll need to click on those words as sadly the ancient lap-top can’t support the illustration otherwise.

This is being done by the wonderful Marine Clabaut, who is spending the summer on the dig while working as an intern with the Canterbury Archaeological Trust.

Tech trouble

I’m clearly having trouble with technology today: I caught sight of Lorna Richardson and a couple of  other contributors on the Google+ hang-out: they could hear me but I could not hear them…