2016: A busy year for Nottingham YAC
Our official launch
We were very pleased that there was such a fantastic response to our launch in January 2016, where after months of planning we officially launched with a taster session held at the University of Nottingham Museum.
There were lots of highlights including local TV, radio and press coverage as well as articles featuring our launch in the ‘big name’ internationally distributed archaeology magazines. The 51 children who came along for the session enjoyed making Neolithic-style clay balls, coil pots, and statues. They also had a chance to dress up in replica costumes provided by a local re-enactment group. We had 36 applications for membership from children aged 8-16, with others filling out forms to reserve their place for when they have their 8th birthday! We were elated with how popular our new club proved to be with the local community.
What do archaeologists actually do?!
In our February session we investigated what archaeology is and what archaeologists actually do. We examined artefacts from the University of Nottingham Museum's collection. We use the Museum as our base and we are so lucky to be able to use their collections as part of our monthly sessions.
The Romans were the theme of the March session with toga making and mosaic designing. Our Young Archaeologists planned a three-course Roman dinner menu and then enjoyed eating a banquet in our pop-up Triclinium!
Roman foodie delights on offer included goats cheese, figs, olives, anchovies, honey, and homemade Roman bread. It was good that our Young Archaeologists were hungry!
In April, two of our club leaders Helen and Laura attended the YAC Leaders’ Weekend in Wakefield to find out more about ancient foods and how to support members with Special Educational Needs. They even made their own herb butter!
Back in the University Museum our members spent their April meeting learning about the Anglo Saxons with lots of fun, hands-on activities.
Dig, dig, digging!
We were very excited to have our first opportunity to visit to a dig in May, taking part in the ‘Our City, Our River’ community excavation in Derby where we explored the remains of the Roman Ryknield Street which ran from Chester to Derby. We found lots of pottery from the Roman and medieval periods, as well as Victorian ‘rubbish’ including whole glass bottles!
We had our second site visit to Southwell taking part in the Southwell Community Archaeology Group excavation where we searched for remnants of medieval buildings facing onto The Burgage. We found lots of bone and helped to locate a well!
On 16 July we took part in the ‘We Dig the Castle’ excavation at Nottingham Castle, where in addition to taking part in normal site activities such as sieving, finds washing and digging, we had a private group tour of the caves underneath the Castle. Our exciting tour included ghosts, gore and how the Castle isn’t actually a castle! The caves are highly recommended if you are ever in Nottingham.
Our July session was the last of the 2015-16 academic year and we will now take a break in August before meeting again on 17 September at the University of Nottingham Museum. We will find out more about “What do Archaeologists do” by learning about specialist archaeological techniques. Our plan is to carry out a survey at Keighton Hill, a deserted medieval village, located right here on the University of Nottingham campus!
If you would like more information about Nottingham YAC including requests for membership or adult volunteer application forms, please email NottsYAC@gmail.com
Blog by Helen Bowen, Nottingham YAC