Gressenhall Gears Up For Archaeology Week 2006

By Sarah Morley | 12 July 2006
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a photograph of large Edwardian brick-built house

Gressenhall is located near Dereham in the middle of Norfolk. It has a museum, a historic workhouse and a traditional farm with rare breeds - all on a stunning 50-acre site.

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, Norfolk is running a series of events for Archaeology Week between July 24 and 28 2006.

Archaeology Week is the national week celebrating archaeology; it runs this year from July 15 and from 23 2006, depending on the end-of-term dates in the area.

Megan Dennis, one of the team who is organising the week at the museum, said: “We are very excited about all the events and activities we are planning. It gives us a chance to show everyone how interesting and varied Norfolk's archaeology is.”

The events are fun and educational with plenty going on every day. Monday July 24 (and every day in archaeology week) starts with a walk around the farm and a chance to develop the necessary archaeological skills to examine documents and buildings.

a photograph of a young woman standing next to a table with various items on it

What's on the finds table? Staff at Gressenhall will be on hand to help identify mystery finds. © Norfolk Archaeological Service

Then there is a free art workshop and face painting. Finally, there will be an educational, illustrated talk on local archaeology.

Tuesday July 25 sees a Roman mosaic workshop and the chance to recreate the Gayton Thorpe Roman villa mosaic. The final event of the day is an exciting opportunity to look at your ancestors, with a 10 minute talk and introduction to using the computer archives, after which participants have access to both digital and paper records.

a drawing of round brooch with a knotwork pattern on it

Fancy a go at making a Saxon brooch like one of these? © Norfolk Archaeological Service

On Wednesday July 26, after the introductory walk there will be a pottery workshop with the opportunity to make your own Saxon pot with salt dough. In a 20 minute talk and handling session after this, the public can learn all about the technological side of archaeology.

Use of computers, the Internet, databases, computerised maps and models will allow visitors to learn about the side of archeology where the only digging is virtual!

A fun Late Saxon brooch making workshop follows the walk on Thursday. Then the talk is on the history of the Saxons in Norfolk.

a photograph of two people in period dress knitting and using a spinning wheel

Staff will be spinning a few tales too during Archaeology Week at Gressenhall. © Norfolk Archaeological Service

There is one big activity following the walk on the final day of Archaeology Week at Gressenhall, Friday. The activity is named ‘Bones, Stones and Bits ‘n' Bobs’ and is a unique opportunity to get to grip with archaeology, quite literally.

All the family will be invited to have fun identifying where each bone comes from. There will be experts helping to track down the origins of the bones and pottery.

All the activities are exclusive to Archaeology Week and, given the interest in archaeology, staff at the museum are confident of a successful week.

Gressenhall is located near Dereham in the middle of Norfolk. It has a museum, a historic workhouse and a traditional farm with rare breeds, all on a stunning 50-acre site.

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Sarah Morley is the 24 Hour Museum/Norwich HEART Student Writer in Norwich. Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust is the groundbreaking initiative to regenerate, manage and promote one of the most remarkable heritage resources in the UK and in Europe.

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