YAC Leaders' Weekend 2019: Oakham Castle
Many of your YAC leaders were at Oakham Castle recently, partaking in our annual YAC Leaders' Weekend. This is an opportunity for them to get to know one another, learn or grow their skills and generally have a good time. The YAC Leaders' Weekend 2019 was held in Oakham in Rutland. On the Saturday, the leaders had the opportunity to work with staff from the Univerisity of Leicester Archaeology Service on their community excavation at Oakham Castle. The day was split between working in the trench and learning various post-excavation skills, all of which can be utilised to undertake test-pitting.
Half of the group worked on excavating the 13th-14th century building, possibly a bakery or brewhouse. You can learn more about the history of the site here: Oakham Castle Community Excavation
The rest of leaders had the opportunity to help wash and process the finds from the dig (a relaxing task for even the most experienced archaeologist!), try their hand at photogrammetry and explore how we interpret artefacts recovered from test-pitting projects.
The day finished with a talk from the Dig Director, Mathew, about how to bring all these skills together to organise and run a test-pitting project.
After a lovely evening meal and some great networking/catching-up we spent Sunday morning at Rutland County Museum, where Leaders were introduced to the Heritage Heroes Award Scheme run by Archaeology Scotland and launching across the YAC network soon. We also looked at using social media and websites to promote the YAC, help recruit new members/volunteers and generally shout about how great the YAC is! Plus, our friends at Rutland County Council provided us with some tips to keep everyone safe online.
This year, the Leaders' Weekend was funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, as part of the Shout Out Loud project, of which the YAC are part of. As such, we were able to invite our partners from English Heritage along and volunteers from related projects. We were joined by Stephanie, Angela and Jemima from English Heritage who were all new to excavation and had a fantastic time with us. We also hosted three members from CRAG, Conisbrough's local archaeology group, who we will be excavating with us next month as part of the CBA's Festival of Archaeology.
Based on the weekend, YAC-HQ will be working on resources to support your branches in developing their own feildwork and post-ex projects.
Take a look at the photo album below and see if you can spot any more of your own leaders and assitant leaders!