Current Archaeology’s July Listings: exhibitions, events, and heritage from home

There are many great ways to get involved with archaeology and heritage this summer, including new exhibitions, events, activities, and more. Or, if you would prefer to get your history fix at home, there is a wide variety of resources available online, from new apps and digital exhibitions to virtual heritage site tours, podcasts, games, and more. Amy Brunskill has put together a selection of some of the options available.


Young V&A, London, Open now 

Image: Picture Plane © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

After seven years of planning, Young V&A – formerly the V&A Museum of Childhood – has opened its doors in Bethnal Green. The museum showcases objects from the Victoria & Albert Museum’s vast collection of art, design, and performance, exploring the power of creativity in children’s lives. Co-designed with children and teenagers, Young V&A offers a variety of hands-on experiences to inspire young people and families. Entry to the museum is free. Check the website for information about new exhibitions in the coming months. 


The Celts are Coming, The Scottish Crannog Centre, Kenmore, 28-31 July 2023 –

For one weekend, the Scottish Crannog Centre will be taken over by talented artists, craftspeople, and musicians from across the UK and beyond, giving them a chance to share their knowledge of the traditional crafts that have been part of life for thousands of years, from metalworking and leatherworking to stone-carving and creating natural dyes. The event will offer interactive activities, handmade products to buy, and a friendly space to chat, share, and meet new people. Tours run all day, every 45 minutes from 10am, and the café will be open. Tickets cost £7, with family tickets available.

Stories of London – a day of talks, Southwark Cathedral, London, 15 July 2023 – 

Discover more about London’s past with this day of talks in the library of Southwark Cathedral, covering topics spanning more than a millennium, including the great North Wood that once covered most of south London, everyday life in the city from the Anglo-Saxons to the Tudors, the story of the area surrounding St Paul’s Cathedral, and the social history and influence of Piccadilly Circus. Tickets cost £20 (plus a booking fee) and include entry to each talk, as well as 10% off in the Cathedral Shop. 


Above and Below: the archaeology  and history of Essex castles, Essex Record Office, Chelmsford, 16 September 2023 –

Essex Record Office presents a fascinating one-day conference examining the history and archaeology of Essex castles (some of which is being shared for the first time).  A panel of expert speakers will give talks on the castles at Clavering, Colchester, Hedingham, and Pleshey. The day will finish with an overview of the themes and conclusions highlighted by the talks from castle and fortifications expert Professor Robert Liddiard of the University of East Anglia. 


Unforgotten Lives, London Metropolitan Archives, Until 27 March 2024 –

This exhibition presents the stories of Londoners of African, Caribbean, Asian, and Indigenous heritage who lived and worked in the city between 1560 and 1860 and are recorded in London’s archives. Informed by an ongoing research project, the exhibition celebrates well-known figures from London’s past and introduces some of the thousands of names discovered in the archives so far, telling stories of community, enterprise, family life, hardship, and resilience. Admission is free and booking is not required, but please check the London Metropolitan Archives website for opening times.


Virtual Australian Museum of Palaeontology, Australia

Discover Australia’s rich fossil record with this new virtual  museum, created by several collaborating universities and  museums, which features 3D scans of specimens spanning  600 million years of evolution. 

National Gallery, London, UK

Visit a variety of virtual exhibitions and galleries featuring highlights from the National Gallery, take a tour of some masterpieces with Google, or explore the institution’s collection online.

Image: Wikimedia Commons, Diego Delso,

Carter House, Egypt

Take a virtual tour of Howard Carter’s historic house in Luxor and find out more about the Egyptologist’s life and work while he was there, as well as a recent project to conserve and restore the building.

Hatra, Iraq

Explore the ruins of the ancient city of Hatra or discover virtual-reality reconstructions of other famous sites in Iraq, such as the Al-Nouri Mosque and the Al-Nabi Yunus Mosque, destroyed in modern conflicts. 



Discover the digital collections of Mexico’s Ministry of Culture and explore resources from various institutions, museums, libraries, and archives around the country through this integrated open platform. 

image: Mike Peelphoto

Past Track

Dive into the history of Staffordshire with thousands of photographs, images, maps, and documents, available through  this online resource from Staffordshire County Council’s Archives and Heritage Service. 

Screens of the Stone Age

Enjoy this entertaining podcast in which scientists review films  and TV shows about prehistoric people, from Indiana Jones and  the Raiders of the Lost Ark to A Flintstone Christmas and Early Man. 


Get ready for #AskAnArchaeologist Day on Friday 21 July, part of the CBA Festival of Archaeology (see p.60), when archaeologists around the world will answer any questions you might have on Twitter.


Hidden Treasures of the National Trust

Go behind the scenes at National Trust properties around Britain and find out how some of the UK’s most beautiful and historic homes and the objects they contain are protected and conserved.

Image: Karen Roe

Ancient Egypt by Train with Alice Roberts with-alice-roberts

Join Alice Roberts as she travels around Egypt to find out more about one of the world’s oldest civilisations, exploring the country’s famous sites, hidden gems, and new discoveries.

Upstairs and Downstairs

In this game from English Heritage, it’s 1833 and you have just applied for a job as the new footman or maid at Audley End House – will you be able to impress your employers and avoid the pitfalls along the way?

History Detectives

Travel back in time with this game from BBC Bitesize to explore key moments from the past and use your historical enquiry skills to analyse and evaluate some of history’s burning questions.

Tail Trail

Try out this interactive game from the Museum of London, which takes you back through London’s history as you search for the rat relatives of Riley Ratcliffe in pictures from different periods.