National Archaeology Days In The East Of England

By Richard Moss | 17 July 2003
British Museum

Photo: perhaps the most famous find to come out of the Sutton Hoo burial mound - a complete warrior's helmet, one of only four known Anglo-Saxon examples.

National Archaeology Days 2003 take place on Saturday July 19 and Sunday July 20, and are set to offer a wide range of activities and events for all ages and levels of interest.

Here is our brief guide to just some of the highlights of events and activities across the east of England.

Flag Fen Bronze Age Centre, near Peterbrough, is one of our most important megalithic sites and on July 19 there will be a Celtic and Roman British re-enactment that includes educational activities with worksheets and the opportunity to handle ancient weapons and tools.

In the town, Peterborough Museum has a whole range of activities from Napoleonic sailors to a 'Scrapyard Challenge'. The latter features teams of archaeologists competing to build an ancient Egyptian obelisk from a load of scrap.

The Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology in Cambridge is inviting the public to explore and compare the archaeology of South America and Britain on July 19.

Wimpole Hall has free children's activities including dig boxes, displays, artefact handling on the 20th along with Roman and Iron age re-enactors and chance to view a local amateur dig.

Photo: if you get yourself down to Wimpole Hall you can handle some artefacts and meet a Roman.

Lincoln Medieval Bishop's Palace at Lincoln Cathedral is going potty for archaeology all weekend with a look at the material from the excavation at Bishop's Palace. Dr Glyn Coppack will be at the site to talk about ceramics and urinals and give some contemporary views on how pots are made.

Grantham Museum, is inviting children of all ages to come and learn about archaeology and prehistoric pottery with the chance to make your own pot on July 19.

On the same day Stamford Museum is encouraging the public to bring in anything interesting you have found or a "treasure" you would like idenitified.

Moving over into the heart of East Anglia there is a fully active archaeological site with close-up access to the main excavation of a mid Saxon Christian cemetery at the aptly titled Boneyard Field on July 20. With over 200 skeletons so far excavated, the organisers promise plenty of human remains on display.

Slightly less ghoulish, King's Lynn Museum, has 'Rubbish History' on July 19. Bring along your archaeological finds and take part in some 'hands on' activities to find out more about the past.

Moving down into Suffolk Moyse's Hall Museum, Bury St Edmunds hosts a Family Archaeology Workshop with Jane Carr leading a 'hands on' afternoon exploring archaeology.

Photo: the Sutton Hoo burial boat as revealed for the first time by archaeologist Basil Brown in 1939.

A similar approach is the order of the day at Sutton Hoo. Hands on activities for families based on Sutton Hoo's mysterious Sand Bodies are offered along with guided tours of the Anglo-Saxon burial mounds. Children £1.

At Thornham Field Centre, there is an Archaeology Activity Weekend featuring a range of practical activities centred around the landscape archaeology of the Thornham Estate. The West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village near Bury St Edmonds meanwhile has costumed re-enactors and guided tours of the recreated village all weekend.

Down in Essex Chelmsford Museum has a day of hands-on activities including finds sorting, mosaic making, candle making, colouring sheets and pottery demonstrations on July 19.

Photo: down at Flag Fen you can see the magnificent prehistoric timbers of the famous 'Seahenge'.

While on July 20 Saffron Walden Museum will be teaching us all about Roman numerals with activities suitable for 8 years and above including the opportunity to view archaeological finds of casting counters.

There will be pike men and cavaliers galore at Colchester Museum who are offering people the opportunity to discover life in Colchester during the English Civil War with the help of the Essex Militia, who will be laying siege to St Bodolph's Priory Colchester Museums on July 19.

There are so many great events going on for this year's National Archaeology Days that we couldn't possibly tell you about all of them!

So to check time details, availability and find out what else is out there click on this link to pay the Council for British Archaeology website a visit.

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