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Dig the summer holidays

Posted on Thursday 21st July 2016

Festival of Archaeology at Museum of Liverpool

A week-long celebration of all things archaeological at the Museum of Liverpool brings history to life this summer, from 20 to 27 July 2016.

From handling sessions, trails, role-players, crafts, talks and tours, the Festival of Archaeology has something for young and old to get involved with and see for themselves the many ways archaeology gives us a powerful connection to our past. 

The festival includes exciting events run in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University. Live experiments on the Formby Footprints inform us about life in prehistoric Merseyside and facial reconstruction specialists from Face Lab will explain how skeletons can be used to understand people from the past and what they looked like.

Liz Stewart, Curator of Archaeology and the Historic Environment, said:

“Our Festival of Archaeology is a bustling programme for people of all ages with an interest in archaeology and history. From prehistoric footprints to the recycling habits of the Vikings and clay pipes of the industrial age, the festival spans centuries of this region’s history.

“The Festival also covers the future of archaeology, as Liverpool John Moores University’s research group Face Lab lead demonstrations of their latest methods of investigation and show how new technology can help us understand our past.”



Digging It!

On now – September

The Museum of Liverpool is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Merseyside Archaeology Society with a special display, highlighting a range of finds from sites the society was instrumental in investigating and excavating. It will also host the society’s anniversary conference on 8 and 9 October.

Site Tour: Lunt Meadows

Wednesday 20 July and Monday 25 July

10.30 - 12.30

Join archaeologist Ron Cowell for a tour of the site currently being excavated at Lunt Meadows. This exciting project has revealed great evidence of life in this region around 6000-8000 years ago in the Mesolithic period.

Pre-booking essential: www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/luntmeadows

Lunchtime talk: Finding the Saxons and Vikings

Wednesday 20 July

12.30 - 1pm

The early medieval period in Merseyside was a fascinating and tumultuous time. Join Curator of Archaeology and the Historic Environment, Liz Stewart, to explore the finds from the region and what they tell us about communities and their lives in the Saxon, Viking and Norman periods.

Little Diggers Adventure

Wednesday 20, Monday 25 and Wednesday 27 July

11.30, 1pm and 2.30pm

Follow the clues to find the treasures hidden around the Museum in this fun and informative hunt especially for our younger visitors.

Suitable for children 3-7 years old.

Lunchtime talk: Fab finds through the ages

Thursday 21 July

12.30 – 1pm

Finds Liaison Officer, Vanessa Oakden, presents some of the exciting recent discoveries reported through the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Roman Hoards

Thursday 21 July

2 – 4pm

Have a go at being a Roman for the day and make yourself a Roman helmet and money box to carry around your treasure.

Lunchtime talk: Pots, Pipes and People: Archaeology of Rainford

Friday 22 July

12.30 – 1pm

Monday 25 July

2 - 4pm

Join Assistant Curator, Jeff Speakman, and learn about recent excavations in Rainford, near St Helens, and how they’re helping archaeologists learn more about the early industries of the region.

Skeleton Crafts

Friday 22 July

2 – 4pm

Osteoarchaeology or bioarchaeology is the study of human remains found on archaeological dig sites. This creative session helps you make your own skeleton, complete with anatomical names for the different bones, to take home with you.

Face Lab

Friday 22 July

2 - 4pm

Discover the skills and technology behind Face Lab, Liverpool John Moores University’s research group, with hands-on activities. Featuring celebrity face ID from plaster casts, basic facial reconstruction skills and techniques, trials with haptic 3D modelling software, surface scanning and computerised facial reconstruction, visitors will get a greater understanding of how new technology helps us decode our past.

Prehistoric Footprints with Liverpool John Moores University

Saturday 23 July

2 - 4pm

Can you help determine if a set of prehistoric footprints were left by men or women? Or were they left by children? Take part in this living science project which sheds light on this region’s ancestors.

Magical History

Sunday 24 July

1.30 - 2.30pm

Join the Education team as they investigate the Museum’s archaeology handling collection.

I Came, I Saw, Who Conquered?

Monday 25 July

1, 2 and 3pm

Find out the intriguing story of Rome’s first (highly dysfunctional) imperial family. When they weren’t killing each other they managed to conquer large chunks of Britain. In this structured talk and archaeological handling session find out how it took Rome’s first emperors almost a century to finally subdue a wet and rainy island on the edge of the world whilst maintaining a very unstable throne.

Suitable for children aged 8 and over.

Handling Session: Pick a Pipe!

Tuesday 26 July

2 - 4pm

In partnership with the Society for Clay Pipe Research, Susie White, Curator of the National Pipe Archive at University of Liverpool, explores clay tobacco pipes, explaining how archaeologists date them and what they tell us about the past.

Viking Crafts and Costume

Tuesday 26 July

11.00 – 12noon and 1 – 3pm

Meet a Viking lady and learn about weaving techniques and the clothes they made. Visitors can try weaving a bracelet or creating a Lucet.

Big Heritage Viking Ship

Wednesday 27 July

10 – 5pm

The EcoVikings are back at Museum of Liverpool, waging war on your waste! A full day of activities for children of all ages to learn some of the recycling skills of Merseyside’s Viking ancestors; visit the Museum’s collection of stunning Viking silver bracelets and learn about this tumultuous period of our past.

This event is organised by Big Heritage on behalf of Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority.

Notes to Editors


Museum of Liverpool

The Museum of Liverpool is one of the country’s most visited museums outside of London. It is the largest newly-built national museum in Britain for more than a century, demonstrating Liverpool’s unique contribution to the world. The first national museum devoted to the history of a regional city, it showcases popular culture while tackling social, historical and contemporary issues. It has attracted more than two million visitors since opening in July 2011. The prestigious Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2013 was awarded to the Museum for its commitment to human rights as well as its work with children and families from all backgrounds.

The Museum has received generous support from several major funders, and grants from trusts and foundations, corporate support and individual donations. Major funders include the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS),Garfield Weston Foundation and the Clore Duffield Foundation.

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) was responsible for the sustainable economic development and regeneration of England’s Northwest and had five key priorities: Business, Skills and Education, People and Jobs, Infrastructure and Quality of Life.

The European Development Fund (ERDF) is making a real difference to people and businesses in the North West. With €755 million to invest between 2007 and 2013, ERDF is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment. ERDF in the North West is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government – for further information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf.

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects allocating £4.5billion across the UK.  www.hlf.org.uk

About National Museums

Liverpool National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues, including some of the most visited museums in England outside of London. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. We attract more than 2.8 million visitors every year. Our venues are the Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Border Force National Museum, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery.