Heritage from home: April

With the arrival of spring and the promise of lockdown restrictions lifting over the next few months, we are looking forward to visits to museums and heritage sites in the not-too-distant future. For now, though, there are still plenty of things to keep you busy at home, whether you are looking for online exhibitions, craft ideas, or even some of the talks from Current Archaeology’s annual conference! Amy Brunskill has put together another selection of the latest options.

Virtual visits

Museums and heritage sites around the world are constantly finding new ways to allow ‘visitors’ to engage with objects and stories from these places at home, including opportunities to take video tours led by experts or peruse interactive models and online exhibitions at your leisure.

Photo: Frank Schulenburg.

National Museum of African American History and Culture, USA
https://nmaahc.si.edu/ explore/exhibitions
Find a selection of online exhibitions covering subjects from the story of the museum’s creation to the role that African Americans played in the United States military

Arctic: Culture and Climate
Take a tour of the British Museum’s recent exhibition, led by the curators, Amber Lincoln and Jago Cooper, and learn about the resourcefulness of Arctic peoples and the challenges to their ways of life posed by climate change.

Museo Larco, Peru
Explore the collection of the Museo Larco, which brings together artefacts from 5,000 years of pre-Columbian history, and enjoy online exhibits on life and death in ancient Peru.

Votes for Women
Discover stories and artefacts from the Museum of London’s Suffragette collection in this online adaptation of the 2018-2019 exhibition that marked the centenary of Votes for (some) Women (see also CA 336 for more on the archaeology of this movement).

Gyeongju National Museum, South Korea
https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/ gyeongju-national-museum
Learn more about the history of the Silla kingdom through online exhibits of its exceptional objects, art, and architecture, then discover highlights of the museum’s collections and wander around its different sections.

Glasgow Life, UK
Delve into the collections of museums across Glasgow, covering subjects including art and design, human history, transport and technology, and natural history.

Great North Museum Hancock, UK
Take advantage of 3D tours of exhibitions, galleries, and behind the scenes at the stores of the Great North Museum, including a British Museum touring exhibition, Ancient Iraq: new discoveries.


Return to Palmyra, Syria
Learn about the rich history of the ancient city with this online exhibition, which includes 18th-century etchings and 19th-century photos of the site, as well as new research and discussions of ancient issues that are very relevant today.

Elizabeth Gaskell’s House, UK
Book a virtual tour of the Grade II*-listed Regency-style house that was home to the famous author, or take advantage of other online events, including talks, readings, and recitals.

Ħaġar Qim Archaeological Park, Malta
https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/ the-hagar-qim-archaeological-park
Explore the temple of H–ag˙ar Qim with Google Street View or find out more about the site, built between 3600 and 3200 BC, in several online exhibits.

Sutton Hoo, UK
Enjoy a tour of the Anglo-Saxon burial ground led by a National Trust archaeologist, and learn about the history of the site and the excavation that featured in the new film The Dig.

Photo: Thomas Wolf.

Schloss Schönbrunn, Austria
Take a trip to the favourite summer residence of the Habsburgs in Vienna with this interactive map, which provides pictures and information about each of the rooms in the palace.

Workhouse Network
Discover online exhibitions and databases bringing together information about the history of poverty and welfare from a range of museums, heritage organisations, archives, and universities.

Preserving Egypt’s Layered History
Find out how the American Research Center in Egypt is working to conserve stories from the country’s past, with articles, videos, 3D models, activities, and more.

Learning in lockdown

There are so many ways to learn about and get involved in history, archaeology, and heritage from home, whether you’re searching for online lectures and talks, podcasts discussing everything from the Trojan War to the decolonisation of museums, or digital museums and trends on social media.


CA Live! 2021
Most of the videos from CA’s virtual conference are still available online, covering everything from mudlarking on the Thames foreshore to Neanderthals in Britain and the rise and fall of Roman Aldborough – plus a new talk about the Priors Hall Roman ‘temple-mausoleum’ (see CA 370).

Photo: Marathone.

Lewes Priory Trust
Discover more about the rich history of Lewes Priory, which was once one of the biggest monasteries in England, in this series of talks beginning on 4 May.

Time Travel TV
Enjoy a selection of videos and activities based on treasures in the National Archives, from a document featuring a Tudor monarch to photographs from the excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb.

Nene Valley Archaeological Trust
www.nenevalleyarchaeology.co.uk/ 2021-conference-bronze-age-britain
Sign up for a series of monthly talks about Bronze Age Britain organised by the NVAT, covering topics such as Must Farm, migration and mobility, and ‘101 things to do with a dead body in the Bronze Age’.

CIfA2021 online: Annual Conference
Sign up for the annual conference of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (21-23 April), which offers three days of discussions about current professional issues and important archaeology- and heritage-related research.


The Conversation: Women Digging for Answers from the Ancient Past
This episode of the BBC podcast, The Conversation, archaeologists Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson and Sarah Murray look at the ways in which modern gender biases may influence our views of women’s lives in the past.

Hidden History at the Pitt Rivers
Find out how the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford is tackling its imperial roots by addressing problematic labelling and displays through communication with the communities that the objects come from.

Trojan War: The Podcast
Enjoy this serialised telling of the stories of the Trojan War, with each self-contained podcast episode focusing on a particular episode in the overall story arc. Combined, they take the listener through the whole epic tale.

The English Heritage Podcast
Discover a wealth of information about England’s past and the work that goes into preserving it, along with many stories from across the country’s history in this weekly podcast from English Heritage.

Join Kim Biddulph as she talks to archaeologists and authors about the real stories behind the archaeology and history that features in fiction.


Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research
This ‘instamuseum’ presents objects discovered during archaeological work by the NIKU, offering a snapshot of Norwegian history with every photo.

Discover objects from a variety of museums and institutes as curators fight it out on Twitter to present the best artefact from their collections in a variety of categories, including ‘creepiest’, ‘sauciest’, and ‘best party object’.

History Matters
Find out about a wide variety of historical events and discussions in this blog from the University of Sheffield, with topics ranging from crises past and present to the connections between Victorian music halls and modern raves.

Archaeology & Art

Enjoy pictures of archaeological and historical sites, artefacts, and artworks from around the world, with a wide variety of subjects, demonstrating the richness of different cultures in the past.

Hastings Digital Museum
Hastings Museum and Art Gallery is offering a variety of resources, collection highlight videos, and opportunities for conversation and discussion on their social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The History Corridor

Learn more about stories from the past with these mini history lessons in the form of pictures and videos that bring historical events and figures into focus through a less-conventional lens.

Family fun

Try your hand at a range of craft activities and games from different museums and heritage institutions, or find out more about historical topics and new archaeological discoveries in a variety of recent TV shows. However you like to spend your time, there’s something for the whole family below!


Learning with Spike at Home
https://museum.maidstone.gov.uk/learn/ learning-with-spike-at-home/
Discover a series of fun and informative resources created by Maidstone Museum, with a huge series of daily activities and crafts based on objects in the museum’s collection, from ancient Egyptian necklaces to samurai armour.

CPK Play
Explore the collections of the museums, archives, and other heritage organisations under Culture Perth & Kinross with a variety of games, crafts, activities, and challenges.

Photo: Jwslubbock.

Imperial War Museum Family Missions
Get stuck into an array of activities and projects with these ‘missions’ from the Imperial War Museum, from creating DIY walkie-talkies to playing games from the 1940s.

National Trust Archaeology at Home
Enjoy a selection of colouring sheets related to archaeology at National Trust properties like Canon’s Ashby, Tattershall Castle, and Kedleston Hall.

Siege Quest
Find out what life would have been like in a castle under siege 500 years ago in this choose-your-own-adventure from Historic Environment Scotland.

Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery
Try out a range of craft ideas and activities related to art, culture, and history, including paper weaving, making a 3D model of the museum, and creating your own ancient Egyptian mask.


Photo: Lapplaender.

Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez
Discover the stories of three important archaeological finds – the real palace behind the myth of the Minotaur, a lost Viking ship, and an ancient city – and the men who uncovered them.

Stonehenge: The Lost Circle Revealed
Join Alice Roberts as she explores the cutting-edge research and decade-long project that has led to the exciting new discoveries that are rewriting our understanding of Stonehenge.

The Great British Dig: History in Your Garden
www.channel4.com/programmes/ the-great-british-dig-history-in-your-garden
Hugh Dennis and a team of archaeologists return to uncover the history hidden beneath back gardens around Britain in the first full series of The Great British Dig.

The Fall of Anne Boleyn
Follow the story of the downfall of Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn, through three key days in her life: her arrest, her trial, and her execution.

Natural History Museum: World of Wonder
www.channel5.com/show/ natural-history-museum-world-of-wonder
Go behind the scenes at the Natural History Museum and find out about some of the most-exciting and unique objects in the collections, and the variety of work carried out by museum staff.

Sandi Toksvig’s Women from History
www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/l0027tkq/ sandi-toksvigs-women-from-history
Sandi Toksvig, Maxine Peake, and Emma Dabiri discuss some of the women in history you may not have heard of, part of the Women of the World x BBC Festival.