Archaeology events, exhibitions, and heritage from home

There is a wonderful selection of archaeological and historical events and exhibitions scheduled for this summer, ranging from the return of Europe’s largest Viking festival to new exhibitions at the British Museum and the London Transport Museum. There are also still many ways to get involved in history and heritage at home, with online museum tours and educational resources, social media accounts, TV shows, and much more. Amy Brunskill has put together a summary of some of the options out there.


JORVIK Viking Festival

28 May-1 June 2022

The annual JORVIK Viking Festival returns to York this year, with a wide range of events taking place across the city, including special exhibitions, guided tours, expert talks, craft activities, markets, combat performances, and even a Best Beard Competition. Whether you’re interested in seeing behind the scenes of a new archaeology project or watching hundreds of Viking warriors march through the streets of the city, this celebration of York’s rich Norse heritage offers something for the whole family. The festival includes a combination of free and paid events.

Festival of Archaeology

Across the UK
16-31 July 2022

The Council for British Archaeology’s annual Festival of Archaeology returns in July with hundreds of events, both in person and online. The theme for 2022 is ‘Journeys’, encompassing everything from daily commutes to large-scale migrations, and even internal personal journeys. Across the country, community groups, heritage organisations, universities, and commercial groups will be offering opportunities for people to discover the archaeology and heritage all around them, and to explore and share their own or others’ journeys.


Legacies: London Transport’s Caribbean workforce

London Transport Museum
Until summer 2024
www.ltmuseum.co.uk/visit/museum-guide/ legacies-london-transports-caribbean-workforce

This exhibition at the London Transport Museum explores the huge contribution that people of Caribbean heritage have made to transport history in London and beyond. It features new films, archive photography, historic posters, and never-before-displayed objects that celebrate the impact that Caribbean people had on London Transport, as well as personal oral histories that bring to life their experiences. Entry is free with museum admission.

Feminine Power: the divine to the demonic

British Museum
Until 25 September 2022

The Citi exhibition celebrates the power and diversity of female spiritual beings within global religion and faith, exploring the role that ancient goddesses, demons, witches, spirits, and saints have played in the past, and continue to play today. The exhibition features objects from across the world and across time, ranging from monumental sculptures from ancient Greece to wall hangings from Japan and China, emphasising the variety and ubiquity of the divine female throughout human history. Tickets cost £15, with concession prices available.


Florence Nightingale Museum


Following the museum’s closure for most of the past two years, the Florence Nightingale Museum reopened its doors on 12 May, Florence Nightingale’s 202nd birthday. Visitors can explore the exhibition, Nightingale in 200 Objects, People & Places, which includes her famous lamp, as well as a stuffed version of her pet owl Athena. The museum has updated some of its displays, looking further into Nightingale’s statistical work and bringing new objects out of the store. The museum is now open 10am-5pm Wednesday-Sunday. Tickets cost £10 for adults and are available on the door.


Virtual visits

• Mauritshuis, Netherlands

Explore the collections of the Mauritshuis, which houses a collection of 17th-century Dutch masterpieces, through a virtual gigapixel museum, blog posts, podcasts, videos, and more.

IMAGE: Wikimedia Commons, Roman Boed.

• Manchester Museum, UK

Manchester Museum is closed until February 2023, but they have put a selection of their most exciting content online, with exhibitions and displays ranging from the story behind the mineral collection held by the museum to a seat belonging to a Ming emperor.

• Sagalassos, Turkey

Take a virtual tour of the ancient city of Sagalassos, which was once a busy Roman metropolis, and admire the well-preserved archaeological remains with this Google Arts & Culture page.

• Edinburgh: Climate Change Explorer, UK

Discover more about the construction of historic places in Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site, and learn how they are being affected by the changing climate, with this app that lets you explore 3D models of five of the city’s key landmarks.

Educational activities

• Layers of London

Delve into historic maps of London and discover stories from the city’s past with this social history resource developed by the Institute of Historical Research.

• Endangered Archaeology: Using Remote Sensing to Protect Cultural Heritage

Find out how satellite imagery is being used to identify and assess endangered archaeological sites in the Middle East and North Africa with this new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).

• Betwixt the Sheets: The History of Sex, Scandal, and Society

Find out more about topics that are often skipped in history classes in this new podcast from History Hit, which explores everything from political scandals to medieval cures for impotence.

• UK National Archives TikTok

Enjoy a collection of short videos presenting interesting facts, quick quizzes, behind-the-scenes trips, stories, and highlights from the National Archives on their official TikTok page.

IMAGE: Wikimedia Commons, Nick Cooper.

Family fun

IMAGE: Wikimedia Commons, Chabe01.

• Rebuilding Notre-Dame: The Next Chapter

Join Lucy Worsley as she visits Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, three years after the devastating fire of 2019, to find out more about the restoration work and the secrets it has revealed about the building’s past.

• The Great British Dig: History in Your Garden

The Great British Dig returns for Series 3, searching for archaeology beneath gardens around Britain, from an Elizabethan house to a Second World War POW camp.

• Great British History Hunters


Go behind the scenes at the British Museum with this new series, which follows metal-detectorists around the country as their discoveries make their way through the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

• Geo Artwork

Test your cultural knowledge with this game from Google Arts & Culture, in which players have to guess where in the world different artworks, sculptures, buildings, and more originated.

• Hoop Shoot

Try out this online game, which combines history quiz and basketball. Subjects range from the Peasants’ Revolt to the history of Christmas, and for every correct answer you get a chance to score a basket.