Culture24's top ten events from the Festival of Archaeology 2013

| 16 July 2013

Hundreds of events are taking place across the country as part of the Festival of Archaeology 2013. From socks to the Stone Age, here are ten to start off with...

A photo of a young man lying on grass with his feet painted blue
© Simon Dewhurst
Excavating Medieval Castell Coch: A Victorian Expedition, Castell Coch, Cardiff, July 22-24

Reconstruct the excavations of the 1800s, guess the precise nature of treasures and record potential gems as you go during hourly tours of the majestic castle with Victorian uppers on medieval foundations.

Whithorn Archaeology Fortnight, Whithorn Story Visitor Centre, Whithorn, until July 27

Accompanying the excavations at the Iron Age crannog (to which volunteers are invited), these sessions include ancient plant and animal identification and the use of tree ringing when it comes to dating historic buildings.

Archaeology Day, Lutterworth Museum, Lutterworth, July 27

Find and identify strange old objects, wear a Toga or feel the might of Roman armour, design a mosaic and see how artefacts and flint tools are conserved. Replicas available for handling come from the excavations at Tripontium.

Hands on History, Dover Museum, Dover, July 27

Eye up thousand-year-old items and wield a metal detector under the direction of local experts as part of an Egyptian-themed family day. Local Finds Liaison Officer Jennifer Jackson will also be on hand to identify your favourite finds.

Archaeology Day, North Down Museum, Bangor, July 27

Metal-pouring and coracle building in Northern Ireland, as well as storytelling, a mini-dig and falconry, all to the tune of musicians playing on Bronze Age horns and Ice Age trumpets.

Secret Egypt Day, Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, Worcester, July 27

Worcester’s current exhibition, Secret Egypt, features more than 200 objects from the Herbert Museum in Coventry. Curators will be in attendance for this archaeological rumble, with the fun culminating in a late afternoon family film screening of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of The Lost Ark.

Gladiators, Chesters Roman Fort and Museum, Hexham, July 27-28

Fully-armoured gladiators attempt to bludgeon each other to entertaining effect amid the remains of a Roman fort. Visitors are invited to be partisan and get stuck in to a Gladiator School for children and sessions supervised by Archaeology Detectives.

Ice Well Open Day, London Canal Museum, London, July 28

From Norway to King’s Cross, natural ice was a hot frozen import between 1857 and 1904. Descend into the Victorian ice wells behind the museum to hear about the recent conservation of the floors and rebuilt pier.

Visit to Cold War underground nuclear monitoring post, Formby, Merseyside, July 28

Part of top-secret defence plans initiated during the Cold War, Formby’s secrets were only revealed as recently as the 1990s. Find out why with a talk and site tour to look at the remains.

The Horse Hunters of Cheddar Gorge, Museum of Prehistory, Cheddar, until September 1

Re-enactors dressed in deerskins rattling off those handy Stone Age survival skills of flint knapping and firemaking, human and animal bones left in the caves at the end of the Ice Age 14,700 years ago, dressing up, pewter smelting, cave painting and pinch pots in Somerset.

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