Illuminating the past – Enhancing the present – Inspiring the future

Being Human – a festival of humanities

October 26th, 2016

Being Human is a national forum for public engagement with humanities research. The festival highlights the ways in which the humanities can inspire and enrich our everyday lives, help us to understand ourselves, our relationships with others, and the challenges we face in a changing world. It is led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy. This year’s festival is taking place nationally 17–25 November 2016 and we are pleased to act as hosts for a workshop, organised by the University of Kent.

Hopes and fears of archaeology: poetry and artefacts workshop
Friday 18th November 6-8 pm
Being Human
This event combines writing with archaeology. Join us for a poetry workshop where you can get your hands dirty. Led by Dan Simpson, it is a chance to gain hands-on experience of artefacts found in your city and region and discover what happens to them after they have been excavated. It will also explore what archaeologists hope to find as well as their fears about the destruction of the past.

Free admission. No booking required.

Part of the University of Kent’s series ‘ All roads lead to poems/All odes lead to Rome ‘.
Event enquires:
Led by: University of Kent

Three events in Thanet

October 24th, 2016

The Isle of Thanet Archaeological Society has been in touch to tell us about three upcoming talks for the autumn

The first is tonight (24th October) at the Lecture Hall, Crampton Tower Yard (behind the tower), Broadstairs. ‘Rediscovering the hamlet of Upton and the Mystery of the Goodsons’ will be delivered by  Gordon Taylor at 7.45 pm (doors open 7.15). Admission is £3.00 for non IOTAS members.

The second is on Thursday 3rd November at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Cliftonville. Phil Andrews (Wessex Archaeology) will talk on ‘Operation Nightingale’, a project which gives injured soldiers the chance to get involved in archaeology and which has had some remarkable outcomes. Wessex Archaeology’s excavation with them on Salisbury Plain has featured on Time Team. The talk begins at 7.45 pm (doors open 7.15).

The third event is a Wine and Wisdom (undoubtedly with an archaeological flavour) on Saturday 12th November. Admission is £8 to include a fish supper. Email Marilyn Bishop ( for more details and/or to book a table.

Hayes Canterbury Award

October 20th, 2016

We were really pleased to hear that the Trust was to be awarded to Hayes Canterbury Award for 2016 to mark its fortieth anniversary.

“The Hayes Canterbury Award Committee met this morning and have unanimously decided to make the Award this year to the Trust, in this its fortieth year. This is in recognition of the Trust’s engagement with the local community through the 2016 exhibition at the Beaney, the Trust’s website and the many talks, walks and research publications produced over the past 4 decades, as well as all the work of the Trust in its archaeological digs and reports.
The award commemorates John Hayes, who was head of History at Canterbury Christ Church University until his death in 1980, and his wife Peggy, who died in 2011.”

Yesterday, Paul Bennett accepted the award on behalf of the Trust at a ceremony at the Sidney Cooper Gallery presided over by Cllr George Metcalfe, the Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Canterbury.
John and Peggy Hayes Canterbury award

Build a henge next week!

October 19th, 2016

We are teaming up with Woodland Wildlife Hidden History in Sittingbourne to re-create a wooden henge near the site of the Neolithic monument, now covered by The Meads housing development.

We are looking for volunteers to help carve the wooden posts and, using the wonders of modern technology, we will then put the posts up in The Meads Community Woodland on the exact alignment and positioning of the original posts.

It’s a perfect opportunity to learn more about the history and archaeology of this area – you may just be surprised how far it stretches back!

Digging for Britain

September 29th, 2016

Our very own Andrew Richardson filming with the BBC’s Alice Roberts yesterday. Here they are looking at the seventh-century Anglo-Saxon pendant found at Cranmer House in London Road in 1982. They also looked at the beautiful Viking age knife, found way back in 1976.  Both items are on display at the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge – where the filming took place.

Folkestone’s Wild Frontier

September 12th, 2016

Folkestone’s Wild Frontier: a celebration of the Warren
9.30am to 5pm, Saturday 8th October 2016
The Quarterhouse, 49 Tontine Street, Folkestone, CT20 1BN

A free one day conference celebrating and exploring all aspects of Folkestone Warren, with papers by a number of expert speakers – programme here.

Followed by ‘The Gig for the Dig’: an evening of live music in the Quarterhouse bar  from 7.30 pm.  Admission donations of £10 or above on the door. All profits go to the East Wear Bay Archaeological Field School.

If you are interested in attending one or both of these events, please contact Andrew Richardson.

What do archaeologists think about Brexit?

September 6th, 2016

For the official statement from the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists click here.

Some perspectives from the Society of Antiquaries of London, here.

And (for French speakers only), an interview on national radio about Brexit and ‘British isolationism’ from an archaeological perspective, here.

Autumn archaeology

September 5th, 2016

Next Saturday sees the first of some interesting local conferences and talks which are coming up this autumn.

Early Medieval Kent, 800-1220: Saturday 10 September
A joint Christ Church Canterbury University/Centre for Kent History and Heritage/Friends of Canterbury Archaeological Trust venture. It takes place at the Old Sessions House, Longport, Canterbury, starting at 10.00 am. Eight speakers will cover topics in four sessions: Raiders, Invaders and Settlers; Aspects of Landscape; The Church; The City of Canterbury. Great value at £10/£8 (FCAT)/students free.  Full details and how to book here.

Folkestone’s Wild Frontier: Saturday 8 October
This event has been organised in collaboration with the Up on the Downs Landscape Partnership Scheme to support the work of the East Wear Bay Archaeological Field School. Taking place at The Quarterhouse, 49 Tontine Street, Folkestone, there is a full programme of talks throughout the day, followed by an evening of live music in the Quarterhouse Bar from 7.30pm.  Admission donations on the door.

CAT@40: Thursday 10 November
If you missed Paul Bennett’s review of 40 years of work by the Trust at the Beaney in April, there’s a chance to hear more of the story at Waterstones bookshop in St Margaret’s Street, starting at 6.30 pm. Tickets £3.oo from the St Margaret’s Street shop.

Villas in the Roman Landscape: Saturday 26 November
The importance of Roman villas in the landscape and history of Kent will be the theme of a one-day conference sponsored by the Kent Archaeological Society in association with the Department of Classical and Archaeological Studies, University of Kent, to be held at Rutherford College at the university.  More details and booking here.

And don’t forget, our own evening course Canterbury’s Tale: the story of a city from the Ice Age to the Tudors, begins on Tuesday 27 September.  Just the thing as the days get shorter and longer evenings approach.

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