Families enjoyed digging and learning together at an archaeological family fun day

Posted: 20.03.13

Everyone from toddlers to grandparents became time detectives for the day as they took part in activities to find out about diseases in old bones, unravelled the clues of the landscape and saw how flint was shaped into tools during the Archaeology Fun Day.

The event, held last Sunday, (March 17) was organised as part of the Watershed Landscape project, managed by Pennine Prospects, and the Division of Archaeological and Environmental Sciences at the University of Bradford. It was run as part of the National Science and Engineering Week and followed the successful Celebrating Community Archaeology in the South Pennines Conference held the previous day.

“The family fun day was a huge success with over 100 people through the doors, many of whom stayed for most of the day,” said Louise Brown, Pennine Prospects community archaeologist.

“Everyone had a great time, with lots of activities for the young and young at heart. Parents commented that it had been great fun for the children and the grown-ups too with the digging and meeting Vikings proving very popular with everyone,” added Louise.

Among the many activities, people unravelled clues to a crime scene and tried their hand at an archaeological excavation, as well as finding out about local societies and projects in their local area.

Carenza Lewis, of Access Cambridge Archaeology and formerly a Time Team presenter, was the key note speaker at the Celebrating Community Archaeology Conference on the Saturday. She is a keen advocate of bringing communities, researchers and potential university students together through community digs in Eastern England.

“Getting people involved in community digs is a fantastic way of bring people together, building bridges between the different generations and strengthening communities,” explained Carenza, who was one of eight speakers at the event attended by 90 people.

The conference covered a diverse range of community archaeology projects from those in the South Pennines managed through the Watershed Landscape project to those focused on industrial heritage in the East Peak and digs in the North Pennines; all celebrating community archaeology in all its forms.

Funding for the Watershed Landscape project is provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the South Pennines LEADER programme (the Rural Development Programme for England), which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union, and managed by Pennine Prospects. The project recently won the prestigious UK Landscape Award and will now go forward to represent the UK in the European Landscape Awards 2013.

For further information on the work of the Watershed Landscape project and archaeology in the South Pennines please visit the Watershed Landscape website or email Louise Brown.

Yorkshire Water United Utilities Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council National Farmers Union
South Pennines Association Lancashire County Council Pennine Heritage Kirklees Council Calderdale Council
Bradford District Council Northern Rail Natural England Environment Agency The National Trust