This year’s Festival of Archaeology takes place from 16 to 31 July, and will offer many different opportunities to get involved in archaeology in your local area. Coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), a vast selection of events and activities will be delivered by community groups, heritage organisations, universities, and commercial units.
Encompassing everything from community excavations and heritage site open days to guided talks and historical re-enactments, the Festival of Archaeology is a chance for people of all ages to discover more about the history and heritage on their doorstep.
Below are just a few of the hundreds of events on offer; for more details about the Festival of Archaeology, please visit https://festival.archaeologyuk.org, and follow the Festival of Archaeology’s social media for daily updates throughout the festival.
Youth Takeover Day
On Youth Takeover Day, young people around the UK will take control of social media accounts and blogs to share information about the work that they are doing across the archaeology and heritage sector. The day includes the CIfA Early Careers Special Interest Group digital student conference.
A Day in Archaeology
Find out what ‘a day in the life’ looks like for archaeologists, heritage professionals, students, and volunteers around the UK. Blog posts are to be uploaded throughout the day and will stay on the Festival website all year round, a valuable resource for anyone interested in a career in archaeology.
Launch of the Festival of Archaeology
Segedunum Roman Fort, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Start your Festival of Archaeology journey at Segedunum Roman Fort. Raksha Dave – CBA President, archaeologist, TV presenter, and CA’s Archaeologist of the Year for 2022 – will be present to launch the festival, and there will be archaeologist-led field tours, a pop-up art exhibition, live performances, and a variety of displays and hands-on activities throughout the day.
Castell Bach Archaeology Day with CHERISH
Castell Bach Bay, Ceredigion
Find out about the work the CHERISH project has been doing to investigate climate change at the National Trust’s Castell Bach fort. Members of the CHERISH team will be on site all day to conduct site tours and answer any questions you might have. There will also be opportunities to try your hand at the types of archaeological survey CHERISH uses to investigate and record at-risk sites, and an exhibition will be on display in nearby Neuadd Goffa Caerwedros Memorial Hall.
Marvellous Metals: getting hands-on with the past
Bradford Industrial Museum, Braford
This free activity day offers a chance for young people (23 July) and youth leaders (24 July) to explore the role that metal played in the past through a series of hands-on activities and live demonstrations from experts including AncientCraft, artist Jessica Elleray, and the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
Weoley Castle Open Day – journey underground
Weoley Castle ruins, Birmingham
Visit Woeley Castle on their Festival of Archaeology Open Day to discover more about the ruins. Join walking talks around the site, chat to local archaeologists about their work, find out about the owners of Woeley Castle, get hands-on with replicas of medieval objects, and see archaeological finds from the site that are back on display there for the first time in over 15 years.
Calf Hill, Sabden – a journey through time
Calf Hill, Lancashire
Throughout the Festival, the team at Calf Hill, Sabden, is offering members of the public a chance to join in excavations at a fascinating site containing evidence of occupation from prehistory to the present day. All ages and abilities are welcome as training will be provided. Tickets for adults cost £20 per session, and children go free with an accompanying adult.
Festival of Archaeology at the British Museum
British Museum, London
Immerse yourself in the sights, smells, and tastes of our shared past as the British Museum brings it to life through the 2022 Festival’s theme of ‘Journeys’. Take part in various archaeology-inspired activities, demonstrations, and talks at different locations around the museum, including ‘Prehistoric Village’ with Dr James Dilley, ‘Knight Club’ from Norwich Museum, and ‘Meet the Archaeologists’.
Badbury Rings, Wimborne
Go back 4,000 years at Badbury Rings with a weekend of activities including a living history area and digital reconstructions that are part of a project by PhD student Beth Darlington, hosted by the National Trust, researching and testing different storytelling methods in prehistoric landscapes. There will also be guided walks led by National Trust staff.
Butts Brow Community Excavation – changing chalk
Butts Brow, Eastbourne
Various dates and times available
Find out more about Eastbourne’s prehistoric past as archaeologists uncover more of the rare Neolithic causewayed enclosure at Butts Brow, as part of the Big Dig and the Changing Chalk projects. Daily tours of the site will run throughout the Festival, and on 23 and 24 July there will be an opportunity to find out more about prehistoric life with craft activities, prehistoric food, and flint-knapping.
Online events and digital resources
This annual live Twitter event returns, offering people around the world a chance to have their questions answered by archaeologists, and giving experts an opportunity to share their knowledge. Visit www.archaeologyuk.org/festival/festival-event-listing/askanarchaeologist-day.html for more information.
The Made in Migration Collective: a collaborative archaeology of contemporary forced displacement in Europe
This online lecture is presented by Rachael Kiddey and the Made in Migration Collective, a fluid group of displaced and non-displaced individuals responsible for co-curating the Made in Migration exhibition. In this talk, several members of the Collective discuss their work and the role that cultural heritage can play in disrupting racist narratives.
We have tried to cover as many regions as possible, but if your area is not listed (for example, there were no events registered for Scotland at the time we went to press), please check www.festival.archaeologyuk.org for the latest information on activities local to you.