Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Update on SAW  - March & April 2012

Marking Time in Bedford River Valley Park
In March SAW strode out into Bedford River Valley Park, through the mist and into sunshine, from Willington Dovecote to Priory Country Park along the cycle path (Route 55). Jeremy Oetgen of Albion Archaeology was our guide, helping us to examine the landscape for clues as to its ancient past.

Bedford River Valley Park

This recently-designated 2000 acre site to the east of Bedford, traversed by the course of the Victorian, Bedford to Cambridge railway and created largely by gravel quarrying hides a wealth of history. Excavations have revealed Bronze and Iron Age burial mounds, medieval remains and evidence for a Roman road.

Re-Making the Dead?
SAW have been busy in the last year, helping staff at The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum, Bedford to think about how they might re-create a display of an excavated Saxon burial. 

This exhibit will form part of the archaeology section of a gallery, currently known as 'The Collectors' Gallery'. The 'Collector's Gallery' is designed to highlight the breadth and diversity of The Higgins' collections and pose questions about collecting and collections.

We hope the burial display will help to explain and compare, how antiquarians used to discover about people who lived in the past and how archaeologists now help us to learn about the past through archaeology, through the things we find and the contexts in which artefacts occur. 

Prize - Surprise!
The Bronze Arts Award candidates have received their certificates - and they were a bit shocked, because they didn't know it was going to happen - sorry folks!  

Well done again!

That's the Ticket!
Roman Bath-house wall - Jewry Wall Museum

Last weekend, SAW travelled to (chilly), Leicester to visit the Roman remains and Jewry Wall Museum and had an fact-filled tour of historic Leicester by Peter Liddell, Community Archaeologist. Peter explained how successive excavations have revealed and continue to reveal, Leicester's settlement since the Bronze Age. 

The Guildhall - Leicester
   We saw how the centre of the city had 
   moved from the river towards the east but 
    that throughout history, Leicester or in Latin
   - "Ratae Coritanorum", had retained its 
   importance as a regional seat of power.

   Peter took us to the Guildhall where it is 
   thought Shakespeare might have played and
   he showed us Leicester Castle's Great Hall, 
   a hidden Norman building, - sadly we were
   not able to go inside this time, but I'm sure 
   we'll return to Leicester, as there's much, 
   much, more to see.

   Many thanks to Helen for arranging the visit, 
   and to Peter for showing us around.