The Festival of British Archaeology, 21 years old this year, is taking place until 31 July, and will be celebrated with a series of activities and tours at historic sites across the Wales, providing the perfect addition to your UK summer holiday.
Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic and environment service, is working with four Welsh Archaeological Trusts; Clwyd-Powys (CPAT), Dyfed (DAT), Glamorgan-Gwent (GGAT) and Gwynedd (GAT), and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW), to put on a coordinated programme of activities including fun days at historic sites, visits to archaeological excavations and guided walks.
Polly Groom, Cadw assistant inspector of ancient monuments said, “The Festival of British Archaeology is all about bringing people into contact with their local archaeology. We want people to come along to as many events as possible, where they can have fun, get inspired, and get their hands dirty; experiencing Wales’ history in its truest form. Archaeology gives you the chance to hold and feel things which were made hundreds or thousands of years ago. It’s a direct connection to people in the past.
Continues Polly, “Archaeology is all about people. It’s about the things they made, and the things they did; and through those ‘things’ — that ‘stuff’ — we can start telling some of those people’s stories. Sometimes it’s the big stories, about battles and castles and politics. Sometimes it’s the smaller stories: the mark of an individual mason on a single stone, a dropped and broken pot irritably thrown away, or a person buried with reverence and honour.’
Back in 1990, the first National Archaeology Day organised by the Council of British Archaeology (CBA) was celebrated with only 10 events. The national event began to grow, and by 2005 it had become National Archaeology Week. In 2009, the CBA launched the Festival — a fortnight jam-packed with the best of British archaeology. By last year there were over 760 events across Britain and more than 190,000 people took part. This year’s event is bigger and better than ever and a great addition to your UK summer holiday.
For further information about where and when events are taking place across Wales, and to book places, visit: http://festival.britarch.ac.uk/whatson.