Monday, July 11, 2011

The Festival of British Archaeology celebrates its 21st Year

Hundreds of events are being organised across Britain to celebrate the 21st Festival of British Archaeology(July 16-31).

Budding Indiana Jones’s of all ages can get hands-on experience of what it’s really like to be an archaeologist, with more than 700 events taking place across England and Wales.

The specially organised events, which range from digs and talks to family fun days, are being co-ordinated by the educational charity the Council for British Archaeology (CBA).

Dr Mike Heyworth, Director of the CBA, said: “The Festival is the biggest UK-wide event focusing on archaeology”.

“We hope that by taking part people will be encouraged to explore the past further, whether by visiting museums, joining a local archaeology group or by reading more about their favourite period.”

The aim of the two-week event is to encourage everyone to visit sites of archaeological or historical interest to see archaeology in action, following the CBA’s mission statement of 'archaeology for all'.

This year’s festival promises to be the biggest yet with museums, heritage sites, universities, local councils and countryside agencies all over the UK participating.

With around 2,000 active community archaeology groups across the country, the festival hopes to attract over 250,000 visitors.

The Festival of British Archaeology is the new name for ‘National Archaeology Week’, which has been celebrating UK heritage since 1990. It has extended its customary week to a fortnight to make sure that children and families can take part during the school holidays.

The fortnight’s events complement and sit alongside Scottish Archaeology Month in September and Northern Ireland’s Archaeology Days in June.

National heritage and conservation bodies such as the National Trust, English Heritage, the RSPB and the British Museum all celebrate the festival.

Dr Heyworth added: “The CBA Festival… can only be held each year with the huge amount of support given to it by heritage, archaeological and historical organisations across the UK… many of them run by volunteers”.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology, visit archaeology excavations.

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