Facing the Past: Telling Scotland's Story in style at the National Mining Museum

By Culture24 Reporter | 27 June 2013

Exhibition preview: Facing the Past: Telling Scotland's Story, National Mining Museum, Newtongrange, until October 19 2013

A photo of a forensic dissection of a skull with eyes intact
© National Mining Museum
Last year, in a gripping update of accepted archaeological wisdom illustrated by comic book-style cartoons, Telling Scotland’s Story combined the prowess of researchers in archaeology, history, the natural sciences, architecture and beyond.

A photo of a skeleton wearing a tartan hat sitting on a sofa
© National Mining Museum
Backed by the 233-year-old Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, the book told of weird mummified skeletons found under Bronze Age skeletons, manmade structures detected in forests via 3-D scanning and, in the form of The Storegga Tsunami, a tidal wave which caused a monumental natural disaster 8,000 years ago, the remnants of which are now being discovered between Aberdeen and Denmark.

Keeper Ellie Swinbank says the show is a “really exciting” way to make major archaeological stories from the past more accessible, with a particular focus on the “rich industrial archaeology” of the Lady Victoria Colliery the museum stands upon.

Jeff Sanders, the manager of the overarching Scottish Archaeological Research Framework, expects new artefacts and research findings to be added during the course of the display.

“This exhibition has the potential to engage a wide audience, especially young people, with what is really exciting about archaeology,” he believes.

“The story of the nation is changing fast as new technologies are applied and new discoveries are made.

“The Framework brings the information that allows us to tell these stories together – providing the place for students, writers, academics and documentary makers to find the most up to date account of the nation’s archaeology.”

For the non-experts, those stories are equally compelling.

  • Open 10am-5pm (4pm autumn and winter). Admission free (museum entry £7.50/£5.50, free for up to three children per adult, annual pass £25/£20, family annual pass £30-£56). Follow the museum on Twitter @NatMiningMuseum.

More pictures:

A close up photo of a human skull
© National Mining Museum
A photo of a textual display inside a history museum
© National Mining Museum
An image of a cartoon illustration showing people dissecting a body on a table
© National Mining Museum
A photo of an ancient wooden instrument inside a museum display case
© National Mining Museum
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