A chance to get involved with Leicestershire’s ancient past

Posted by hct16 at Dec 19, 2012 10:40 AM |
University of Leicester to hold host of activities on Saturday 12 January for the public as part of the Society for Historical Archaeology’s annual conference

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office 19 December 2012

SATURDAY JANUARY 12: Public Archaeology day - Visitors can bring along any archaeological discoveries they have made, there will be high-profile guest speakers, craft activities, live medieval and early modern music and re-enactors from different periods in the past.

Leicestershire residents can find out about the area’s ancient past with a day of history and archaeology-themed activities for all ages at the University of Leicester.

The Past Beneath Your Feet: Archaeology and History in Leicestershire is a free day of activities for the public due to be held at the University of Leicester on Saturday, January 12.

The day will feature talks from top archaeologists who have appeared on television shows like Time Team, the Great British Story and Britain AD. 

It will also feature presentations on local archaeological projects – including the Search for King Richard III.

It is part of the Society for Historical Archaeology’s Annual Conference, which is being hosted at the University of Leicester from January 9 to 12.

The conference is a major international event which will see experts from around the world come to Leicester to focus on the theme of “globalization, immigration and transformation”.

The public day on Saturday – which is being jointly organised by the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History and the Society for Historical Archaeology and sponsored by Minelab - will feature three lectures in the Peter Williams Lecture Theatre.

These include:

• 12pm-1pm - Professor Francis Pryor, a British archaeologist with more than 40 years of experience who has published a number of books, radio and television programmes, including Channel 4’s Time Team and Britain AD. He will speak on The Prehistory of the Recent Past.

• 2pm-3pm - University of Cambridge archaeologist Dr Carenza Lewis, who has had a 13-year-stint on Time Team and appeared on the BBC’s The Great British Story. She will speak on Disaster Recovery? Reconstructing the impact of the Black Death from minidigs in medieval villages.

• 4pm-5pm - Dr Kevin Leahy, who read archaeology at Leicester, spent twenty-nine years as archaeologist at the North Lincolnshire Museum and now works for the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS). He will speak on Historical archaeology and the Portable Antiquities Scheme: the Staffordshire Hoard and other bits and pieces.

There will also be performances of medieval and early modern music, re-enactors of various periods in history and appearances from the National Trust, English Heritage, Leicestershire Museums, local historical societies and University archaeology, history and related departments within the 02 Academy.

Visitors will also be able to bring along any potential archaeological remains they have discovered on walks or in their gardens.

These will then be examined and registered by experts from the Portable Antiquities Scheme – the national scheme for England and Wales for the recording and identification of archaeological finds discovered by members of the public.

Dr Richard Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History and co-organiser of the event, said:

“This is going to be the biggest public event that the School of Archaeology and Ancient History has ever organised.

“I think it will be great day. The aim is to showcase the diversity of archaeology and history projects in the local community and the ways that members of the public can become involved. There will be something for everyone. We are especially keen to engage with children and make them aware of this really cool subject, but there will also be lots of activities, talks and displays to stimulate adult interest”.

Debbie Miles-Williams, Outreach Officer at the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History and co-organiser of the event, also noted:

“We have a very strong tradition of public outreach; supporting teachers, schools and the wider community in raising awareness of archaeology, inspiring people both young and old to learn about their heritage. Our undergraduate students work hard to deliver hands-on activities to schools around Leicestershire. We aim to encourage interest in students in the hope that through engagement with children, it will inspire them to instill a life-long interest in their local heritage and possibly even pursue a career in the subject”.

The event is free and open to the public. Parking will be available at Freemen’s Common Car Park, and disabled parking will be available on the University’s main campus on University Road, Leicester.

  • The Dig for Richard III was led by the University of Leicester, working with Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society.  The originator of the Search project was Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society

For more information

Contact Dr Richard Thomas on 0116 252 3343 or at: rmt12@le.ac.uk or Debbie Miles Williams on 0116 252 5251 or at: deb@leicester.ac.uk

More information about the day can be found at: http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/archaeology/pastbeneath/pastbeneath

and on the Facebook event page:

More information about the Society for Historical Archaeology can be found at: http://www.sha.org/

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