Playing with the past, practising for the future : A workshop for experimental community archaeology | Tue Dec 17 09:30:00 | Room 728
Community archaeology isn’t, and never should be, a box ticking exercise, a bolt-on to existing projects. It’s about keeping archaeology in the public psyche, inspiring the next generation of curious minds, keeping heritage and history relevant whilst acknowledging its inherently political nature. It’s about giving all of our fieldwork and research a relatable element, a touchstone to current community life that anchors it to ideas of belonging, identity, self, and cultural heritage. Community archaeology is as much about the future as it is the past – it ensures a future for heritage and for archaeological services. As budgets get tighter and funding gets scarcer, we need the public. The public, in turn need us – archaeology and heritage can provide opportunities for communities to form thriving hubs of culture, arts, and collaboration in the face of cuts to services and facilities. Beyond that, research is emerging into health and wellbeing outcomes of being involved in archaeology - tangible, quantifiable benefits that need strong further research and evaluation.We can provide a space for wellbeing to flourish, curiosity to be sparked, the incredible research and hard work of all archaeologists to be enjoyed and engaged with by a diverse audience. This session invites anyone working, volunteering, or researching community archaeology, public heritage, museums outreach and related fields. The format is of a workshop. We invite speakers to bring short activities - creative, playful, experimental - that the workshop participants can undertake and evaluate. We encourage submissions from individuals at any stage in their career.
9:30 | Penelope Foreman, Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust; Penelope Foreman, Enabled Archaeology
What is Commuity Archaeology for?
9:40 | Poppy Hodkinson, Cardiff University
STEM and Archaeology in UK Primary Schools
This activity was designed as part of a PhD project on Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) engagement in UK Primary schools. My PhD was developed in response to concerns about the UK workforce’s ability to meet growing demands from STEM industries. Recommendations for improving STEM participation in the UK highlight the importance of primary education, so this is where the research is focused. By utilising the links between STEM requirements in the national curriculum and archaeology, I developed a series of archaeological
10:00 | Aaron Clarke, LP Archaeology
Playful People – Actual Artefacts
Children and families are key audiences for heritage experiences and building knowledges of the past - for the present and for the future. Curiosity, inspiration and stewardship is fired by playful encounters and there is much scope to extend possibilities for public learning about the work of archaeology and heritage, underpinned by theoretical principles of museum and experimental participation.
10:20 | Session organisers
An hour long session for drop-in play; several activities will be on the table, from archaeologists working across the UK and Europe, and participants will be invited to "have a go" and rate the activities based on their experiences.
|11:20 | BREAK
11:50 | Claire Walton, Butser Ancient Farm
Butser Ancient Farm and Wessex Archaeology: Engaging communities through experimental archaeology.
Butser Ancient Farm is an open-air archaeological laboratory founded in 1972. The ongoing construction of various full-scale buildings from archaeological evidence provides fertile ground for academic research, through relationships such as the newly formed collaboration with UCL and the Institute of Archaeology. However, it also provides wonderful opportunities for non-specialised audiences to engage with the past. The sensory experience that three dimensional spaces offer makes interpretations of the past more tangible and relatable. And when archaeology is relatable, it gains meaning and ultimately value for all, specialist and generalist alike.
12:10 | William Rathouse, MOLA
Archaeology for Mental Health and Well-Being: Two Models
This paper examines the pros and cons of two different approaches to supporting mental health and well-being by use of archaeological activities and how they might interact with each other. Many of the archaeological projects aimed to support mental health and wellbeing, to promote recovery and develop coping skills have been full-time immersive excavation projects lasting between one and four weeks. These have been designed and run as part of projects like The Past in Mind and Operation Nightingale. These have been successful and participants have found a new area of interest, peer support group, direction of study, and even area of employment. However it has been recognised that after a short-term project, participants may well find themselves back where they started. A long-term or open-ended, little-and-often model for mental health and well-being archaeology is exemplified by the Ceredigion war memorials survey and proposals for the Thames Discovery Programme. It allows an ongoing engagement with archaeological heritage as a hobby, study, to promote employability or for other reasons, which can be adapted to fit whatever time the participant wants to, or is able to, devote. This paper will champion a combined approach and suggest means by which evidence may be gathered on outcomes for participants.
12:30 | Penelope Foreman, Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust; Penelope Foreman, Enabled Archaeology
|13:00 | END