SWFed Spring Forum: Together for Archaeology
10am - 4pm
SWFed Spring Forum 2018: Together for Archaeology
Learn and discuss how to use archaeology as a tool for engagement
29 March 2018 10.00 – 16.00, Bath Guildhall (morning) and Roman Baths (afternoon)
About the event
This special event, which is free for SWFed members, will provide a unique opportunity to gain advice, ideas and practical solutions for a range of issues relating to using archeological collections in museums as a tool for engagement. Non-members can also attend for £30 (it may be cheaper to become a member - click here for more information).
We are delighted to have a range of speakers for this event including from English Heritage, Bristol Museums, and the Portable Antiquities Scheme (Gloucestershire and Avon). There will be opportunities to network and and to learn in groups.
“Archaeological collections can offer unique and positive engagement opportunities – they can bring communities together and provide innovative ways to understand our place in time.” - Gail Boyle, Bristol Museums
"Our new store at Temple Cloud is the result of lots of hard work and persuasion by those in our team, and I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm about its future with other people working in the field, particularly those who may be looking for comparative material for their own regional research projects." - Cameron Moffett, English Heritage
Who should attend
People taking their first steps into (or interested in) using archeology at a tool for engagement who want to appreciate what opportunities there are and how to apply simple, cost-effective approaches
Those reacting to opportunities/demand
More experienced people looking to refresh their knowledge-base
Morning session (at Bath Guildhall)
10.00 Arrival with Tea & Coffee
10:30 Beyond display - Unlocking the potential of small archaeological collections in museums Gail Boyle, Senior Curator (Archaeology), Bristol Museums
This session will introduce participants to multiple ways that archaeological material can be used to engage and inspire people of all ages beyond the medium of display. From archaeology ‘after school’ clubs to enquiry-based learning in the museum, Gail will demonstrate how even the smallest of archaeological collections can be used to their best effect, where to get information, advice and support, and why sometimes it’s important to realise that connecting people with these collections is often not just about the archaeology.
11.00 Portable Antiquities Scheme: Public enquiries, a Finds Liaison Officer’s experience Kurt Adams, Finds Liaison Officer, Portable Antiquities Scheme (Gloucestershire and Avon)
Archaeology is an incredibly accessible subject and anyone digging in their garden can be made to feel like and amateur archaeologist. As a result of this availability and vast array of items discovered, museums often have to deal with members of the public seeking advice on what they have found. This is an ideal opportunity for smaller museums or people with little archaeological experience to learn where to go and who to contact for help.
11.45 The English Heritage Collections for the South-West: a new home; a new life Cameron Moffett, English Heritage (Temple Cloud Archaeology Collection Store)
English Heritage curates the bulk of the archaeological and architectural collections from its sites in Guardianship. The strengths of the collection for the south-west range from prehistoric sites in Cornwall, Great Witcombe Roman Villa, the major excavations at Launceston Castle, the abbeys of Cleeve, Muchelney and Hailes, and important medieval sites such as Sherborne Old Castle, Farleigh Hungerford Castle and Gloucester’s Blackfriars. After a number of years of major stores rationalisations and moves, we now have a new, purpose-built facility at Temple Cloud, Somerset, where we are developing an engaging programme of research and repacking working with volunteers.
12.15 Archaeology: ideas, experiences and questions from the floor
Afternoon session (at The Roman Baths)
13:30 Break out into interactive sessions (attendees can take part in both sessions)
13:30 and 14:00 Interactive session 1 Kurt Adams - Identifying common archaeological finds: pottery.
This interactive handling workshop will help attendees to identify some of the more common items which could be brought into a museum (mainly pottery, but other items too).
13:30 and 14:00 Interactive session 2 Gail Boyle - (title TBC)
14.45 Behind the scenes tour and talk about the public tours and handling sessions that The Roman Baths provide
15:30 Outstanding questions and discussion
16:00 Social / Networking event location TBC
Information about Speakers
Cameron Moffett, English Heritage (Temple Cloud Archaeology Collection Store)
Cameron has worked in the English Heritage Collections team for more than 20 years, mainly in the West Midlands; however, between 2014 and 2016 she covered the south-west as well. During that period the first stage of the redisplay of Tintagel Castle took place, out of which came her recently published research into stone discs and mead. Her current research interests are honey, beeswax and mead in the archaeological record. She has also worked for the Shropshire Museums Service.
Gail Boyle, Senior Curator (Archaeology), Bristol Museums
Gail Boyle has had a successful museum career for over 30 years. As Senior Curator (Archaeology) for Bristol Culture she played a leading role in the delivery of a wide variety of innovative projects such as M Shed as well as numerous exhibitions. Gail is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, chairs the Society for Museum Archaeology (a UK-wide Subject Specialist Network) and sits on several heritage related advisory boards. She also has long-standing collaborative and teaching relationships with both the University of Bristol, where she is a Research Fellow, and the University of the West of England.
Kurt Adams, Finds Liaison Officer, Portable Antiquities Scheme (Gloucestershire and Avon)
Kurt has been working with the Portable Antiques Scheme since 2002 and as the Bristol and Gloucestershire Finds Liaison Officer since 2004. In that time he has seen hundreds of thousands of archaeological finds, many of which have been recorded on the Portable antiquities database; items that range from modern jewellery to spectacular Bronze Age gold hoards and 500,000 year old flint tools.