Department of Anthropology and Archaeology Family & Friends Visit Day 2023


Today family members and friends of department staff were invited on to site to see the progress we have made since last years excavation, and to give the students a chance to demonstrate what they have learnt in the past week. While the adults were given a 360 tour of the site, students helped to oversee the workshop that we have been building for the last couple of months.


Children’s Archaeology Workshop

Perhaps the most fun part of the day were the children’s activities, set up in a clearing to the north of the excavation trenches. We hosted a mini-dig, washing line of time, archaeological activity book (which included a wordsearch, places to draw the finds from the mini-dig, tailored archaeological recording questions and a ‘design the strongest’ castle activity), as well as a ‘postcards from the past’ table.

A Washing Line of Time in the trees allowed the children to match pictures with events and their dates, and then put them into chronological order. This activity, while more generally historical was great group activity and required some real thinking to match up the dates to the event! It also gave the children the opportunity to talk about where they thought the excavation site fit in to the timeline, and helped to contextualise the site for them.

Last but certainly not least was the mini excavation, where not only lithic tools were ready to be excavated but chocolate too – after all, digging is hard work no matter your age and a little reward is of course required! The children who attended were excited to find the lithics we had planted – but more surprisingly, some unexpected finds made themselves known! A few animal bones and a lump of quartz were found by the children. While these were fairly unusable in terms of our archaeological excavation (as they came from an unstratified spoil context) they were invaluable to the little hands that lifted them, and excitement took over! It was excellent to see the children getting more excited about their archaeological finds than the buried chocolate?! Unprecedented!


Feedback from the children (and parents) who joined us today was great, with many asking if they could come back another day. Here are a few of our favourite quotes from our little diggers today!

Jack (Age 7) – “This place is AMAZING! Can we come again?”

Ben (Age 5) – “My best thing is that I found an arrow, I love it and I drew it! We want to come more, not just one time.”

Sofus (Age 3) – “I made my castle so the asteroid can’t break it”

Emily (Age 12) – “The washing line was good because I got better at it the longer I did it and started to work out the right dates and events, and some stuff I haven’t learned about in school”





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