Posts Tagged With: Leicestershire

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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Making Roman tombstones at Jewry Wall Museum

Last month we had a fantastic session at Jewry Wall, discovering the meaning of messages displayed in the imagery on Roman tombstones. Only one in ten people could read in the Roman world so we were looking at these monuments as the majority of Romano-Britons would have done, without reading.

Club Members had a great time thinking about the meaning of particular scenes and looking for cunning little details that could tell us something about what the Roman people valued and how they wanted to be remembered.

They also had a chance to design their own tombstone and model them in clay. If you would like to have a go at designing your own Roman tombstone, here are some ideas of what you could put on it.

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Whitwick Test Pit Results Announced!

Cast your minds back to the summer…

In July we spent a great weekend excavating two test-pits in Whitwick as part of Charnwood Root’s Whitwick Big Dig. Over the two days, one dry and sunny and one very wet, Club members excavated two test-pits in Whitwick Park. This was a great opportunity for our members to get involved in a real archaeological project and it was fantastic to help out with the Charnwood Roots Project again following our successes last year at Anstey.

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Last weekend I was back in Whitwick to help reveal the results of the project to the excavation team and it was great to see some of our members amongst the crowd. Over the weekend, we managed to dig 29 test-pits across the village with the goal of exploring the nature of Whitwick’s settlement history and promote local history and heritage to the community.

Sadly, the excavations mostly yielded a mixture of modern and post-medieval artefacts and features and we have learnt very little about the village’s early history. Only 9 test-pits produced medieval pottery, but this includes the two excavated by LYAC which is great! The conclusion is that the medieval pottery in our pits has probably been deposited through manuring of fields surrounding the village. This is confirmed by the surviving earthworks of medieval ridge and furrow surrounding Test-Pit 11.

To learn more about what we discovered, download the Test Pit Reports for our two pits (below):

Whitwick Test Pit 10

Whitwick Test Pit 11

Also check out these two great films of the weekend produced by the Charnwood Roots Team. Look out for Club members and Branch Leader Steve being interviewed!

Again, we would like to say a big Thank You! to the Charnwood Roots Project for giving us this fantastic opportunity to take part in a great archaeological project. Next year the team will be digging in Rothley and we look forward to taking part!

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Help Save Snibston Discovery Museum!

Hi everyone, the fantastic Snibston Discovery Museum in Coalville is facing demolition after Leicestershire County Council approved plans to close the facility. The closure will be subject of Judicial Review, on 21/22nd July.

There is an online petition regarding the closure that you can read and sign beforehand at
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-snibston-discovery-museum-coalville?bucket&source=twitter-share-button

Judicial Review story:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-32824833

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Charnwood’s 600 million years of Geology

Charnwood Roots Project is hosting an FREE geology workshops offering you the chance to glimpse into Charnwood’s 600 million year past.  Open to everyone who is volunteering on the Charnwood Project.
 
The rich array of ancient rocks present in Charnwood Forest, a tantalising glimpses into its life as a volcanic island, a mountain range, a desert and even a seabed!
 
Experienced geologist Gill Weightman will be leading each session, during which you’ll get the opportunity to handle an assortment of rocks that are Charnwood born and bred; each with their own tale to tell. At the end of the session you’ll be a dab hand at rock identification – this will be particularly useful for those wanting to get involved with fieldwalking or to help with our landscape surveys next year.

Details

  • Saturday 6th September, 10.30am and 12.30pm at Coalville Library, High Street, Coalville, LE67 3EA
  • Tuesday 23rd September, 2pm and 4pm at Mountsorrel Library and Learning Centre, Church House, The Green, Mountsorrel, LE12 7AF.
  • Both venues have disabled access

Charnwood’s Geology Event

Book your place email charnwoodroots@le.ac.uk

Charnwood Project Contact details here to become a Charnwood Volunteer

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Launde Abbey

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Our members will be doing some standing building archaeology today by drawing parts of Launde Abbey. … lets hope the rain holds off

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