The Festival for British Archaeology is now held over a fortnight and celebrates archaeology for all ages, encouraging people to get involved in archaeology. The Festival of British Archaeology was born out of National Archaeology Week in 2009 and it proved to be such a popular event that it moved from a week-long to a fortnight-long celebration. It is made up of hundreds of events across the UK where you have a unique chance to discover and explore the archaeological heritage of the United Kingdom. During this 16 day event, you can take part in excavation open days, hands-on activities, family fun days, guided tours, exhibitions, lectures, ancient art and craft workshops and much, much more.
The Festival aims to encourage everyone, especially young people and their families to visit sites of archaeological/historical interest or museums, heritage and resource centres, to see archaeology in action and to take part in activities on-site. Whether you are still at school or university and studying, or you have a passion for history and want to discover what is around you, the Festival has something to offer everyone. The Council for British Archaeology, co-ordinates the Festival. They are an educational charity working throughout the UK to involve people in archaeology and to promote the appreciation and care of the historic environment for the benefit of present and future generations. The CBA brings together those for whom archaeology is an interest, an active pastime or a career.
Not surprisingly Time Team member Tony Robinson has given the Festival his full support saying, “Archaeology is fascinating, you can see it all over the UK through the Festival, and people can get involved in so many things. There is something for everyone to do. I’m really expecting lots of people to be bitten by the archaeology bug! And when that happens I feel a sense of triumph. I wholeheartedly support what this festival is trying to do. It’s the same ethos that governs Time Team – educating local communities that something they weren’t aware of can be wonderful and exciting.”
And with the Festival continuing over the next fortnight (until Sunday 31 July) with more than 760 events taking place, Tony says that now is the time for people to find out more about the history in their area. Amongst the featured events are the Portable Antiquities Scheme Events where, if you have you ever found an old coin, a piece of worked stone, a metal object or a piece of pottery, and ever wondered what it was you can have it looked over by a professional; guided walks in the Mendips where you can discover ancient cave drawings; hands on activities such as stone masonry and mediaeval gaming and many arts events are taking place in national museums across the country. And best of all they are free! So get your builders hat on and get involved! For more information see http://festival.britarch.ac.uk