Leicester History Festival

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Dig Deep For Archaeology – We Need Your Help!

CBA Fundraising Appeal 2018 – Target £50,000

Our parent organisation, the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), is launching an important fundraising appeal. More people are involved in archaeology across the UK than every before, and new discoveries continue to come thick and fast, yet the impact on archaeology of changing Government policies and priorities, particularly in England, the possible consequences of Brexit and other UK-wide issues are giving major cause for concern.

This could have a significant impact on the Leicestershire Young Archaeologists’ Club. We are run by volunteers who freely give up their time to organise sessions throughout the year, providing fantastic opportunities for young people aged 8-16 to get their hands mucky doing real archaeology. However, to do this we are reliant on the support of YAC UK and the CBA, whose financial resources are under increasing pressure.

So we are supporting the CBA’s fundraising appeal and ask everyone to give generously to support our work for archaeology. We aim to raise £50,000 by April 2019 to ensure that we can continue our wide-ranging work. Every £1 counts, so please go to our dedicated giving page at donate.archaeologyuk.org and dig deep for archaeology!

Read more about our appeal (570.1K, .PDF)
See the letter in full, learn more about our work and just why the Council for British Archaeology needs your help in the CBA’s latest newsletter.

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How to lift and conserve a Roman mosaic

Have you ever wondered how mosaic get from an archaeological dig to a museum? There is a lot of work involved, as this fantastic film from the University of Leicester reveals. Check it out!

To find out more, read the latest blog at ulasnews.com

New film reveals challenges behind lifting and conserving a Roman mosaic

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Pits, pots and pipes – Digging up Bosworth’s Past

This year we have been test-pitting with a new project called Bosworth Links, in the town of Market Bosworth in west Leicestershire. Over one weekend in July, as part of the Festival of Archaeology, we dug two of the twenty-five test-pits excavated across the town. In all, over 200 volunteers, students and young archaeologists from the local community took part in the weekend, recovering a remarkable 8,534 individual finds ranging in date from the Early Bronze Age, some 3,500-4,500 years ago, to the present day.

The Project has produced a really great short film about the dig. One of our pits, Test-pit 7, is the first test-pit to feature in the film. Watch it above.

You can read about what we found here:

Test-pit 7 – full report (pdf)

Test-pit 19 – full report (pdf)

Or find out more about the project here: https://www2.le.ac.uk/services/ulas/discoveries/projects/community-archaeology-1/bosworth-links-dig-1-2017

 

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Leicestershire YACs appear in Leicester Mercury video

 

Our recent trip to the University of Leicester’s excavations at Bradgate Park has recently featured in a short film about the excavation open day produced by the Leicester Mercury.

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Bringing Our Past to Life

Another great archaeology and history day this Sunday at Jewry Wall. Don’t miss it, it is one of the last times to visit Jewry Wall Museum before it closes at the end of July for a two-year refurbishment.

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Bradgate Park excavation OPEN DAY

Come and find us at the Bradgate Park Open Day this Sunday 2nd July.

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Largest archaeological excavation in Leicester in over a decade to open to public

Check out what has just been found in Leicester.

ULAS News

Excavation open to the public on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May.

The forum, macellum and public baths in Roman Leicester. The excavation site is to the right of the large buildings.

University of Leicester Archaeological Services are currently excavating the site of the former Stibbe factory, between Great Central Street and Highcross Street in central Leicester. The land is owned by Charles Street Buildings group, which has made the site available and financially supported the archaeological excavation ahead of a major planned development of the site.

Archaeologists uncover part of a high-quality Roman mosaic floor.

Key discoveries include the remains of one of the largest and highest-status Roman mosaic floors ever found in the city, two Roman streets containing a number of buildings and rare evidence of the first Anglo-Saxon migrants to arrive in the city following the demise of Roman Leicester. The site is close to another excavation…

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2017 so far…

Pottery Illustration

Leicestershire YAC has had a great start to 2017. In February, at our first session of the year, we met at the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History to learn about Pottery Illustration. Drawing artefacts, like the fragments of pottery found on archaeological digs, is really important because it encourages us to look closely at what we have found – what shape is it? What decoration does it have? What is it made of? This allows us to then ask what was it once used for? How was it used? And when was it made?

First, to test our skills of observation, we each picked a potato from a bag and had a go at drawing it. We had to carefully observe all the spots and blemishes on it, measure it, and draw it from several different angles. We had to think carefully about what made our potato unique because once we were finished it went back in the bag, and at the end of the session we had to be able to pick it out again, from amongst all the other potatoes, based on our observations. This taught us about the need for being accurate when drawing artefacts.

Pottery Illustration, the finished result.

Then, we had a go at drawing some Roman pottery from the School’s ceramic collection. Choosing sherds of pot, we used a rim chart to begin reconstructing what the pot once looked like. We work out the diameter of the pot and how tall it was, and drew a cross-section across it to show what it looked like on the inside and the outside, and how thick the sides were.

If you want to have another go at what we did, or weren’t able to make it to the session and want to have a go, you can find the instructions here:

 http://www.yac-uk.org/userfiles/file/1429014915_Artefact_investigation.pdf

Money, money, money!

In March we visited Harborough Museum in Market Harborough to learn about the Iron Age Hallaton Treasure Hoard. Wendy Scott from the Portable Antiquities Scheme showed us some of the Iron Age and Roman coins found in the hoard, and we put on gloves and handled some of the coins. We learnt about the different symbols and names on the coins, and compared the Roman and Iron Age coins to see how they differed. We then explored the museum gallery, dressed up as Iron Age people, tried on Roman helmets and had a go at striking our own Iron Age coins!

We also discussed the importance of reporting finds, so they can be recorded, and the problems illegal metal detecting cause.

Wendy finally challenged us to design our own coin. If you want to have a go, draw around a plate on a piece of paper and fill the circle with your coin design. Bring it along to our next session in April and we will take pictures of them to send to Wendy to put up on the Portable Antiquities Scheme website.

If you want to learn more about the heritage of your area, or want to report something you have found visit the Portable Antiquities Scheme website https://finds.org.uk

Alternately, if you want to know more about historic sites or buildings near you, you can search the Historic Environment Record at www.heritagegaeway.org.uk

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The Great YAC Bake Off!

Hi everyone. I’m sure you all remember back in July we asked for club members to bake cakes to sell at the launch of the Festival of Leicestershire and Rutland Archaeology at Jewry Wall. It was a fantastic day. We really managed to ‘Bring Our Past to Life’ and a big thank you to all who baked and attended the event.

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A little out of his depth, YAC leader Mathew found himself compering a fashion-show through the ages!

The aim of our Great YAC Bake Off was to raise money for the Dig Deep For YAC campaign and I am pleased to announce we raised £104.50 from our cake sale.

We were really impressed with everyone’s contributions and it was really really hard to pick a winner. We had everything from castle-shaped sponges, medieval floor tile rice-crispy cakes, chocolate brownie excavations and ginger loaf cake graves!

As none of the Club leaders could choose between such fantastic cakes we recruited a celebrity judge, Dr Richard Buckley from the University of Leicester (the archaeologist who lead the search for Richard III), who choose this fantastic amazing archaeological excavation cake. Congratulations to Reuben Cullup, our YAC Master Baker 2016!

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Our winning cake!

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