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National Archaeology Week
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National Archaeology Week 2008

CPAT at Loggerheads Country Park, 12th July 2008


National Archaeology Week started with a clash of swords in Loggerheads Country Park near Mold, on the weekend of the 12th and 13th of July. Organised by Denbighshire County Council, this was the start of a busy week with various activities for children and adults. CPAT were there on the Saturday making medieval shields and Saxon and Roman brooches. A wet and windy morning gave way to a sunny afternoon and didn't put off over a hundred people from joining in the fun. Jeff Spencer, Abi McCullough and Sophie Watson from CPAT were on hand to help people, especially as some were very keen to make 'authentic' shields. We had a list of the meanings of some common heraldic symbols; popular choices were lions, symbolising bravery, and flowers, symbolising peace and joy. The CPAT staff members also made shields of their own - all in the name of education!


We were lucky to be joined by Wendi Terry from the headquarters of the Young Archaeologists' Club (YAC) in York. As well as bringing her wealth of experience in educational archaeology, she also brought some mystery objects for people to identify. These fascinating artetacts included a Roman grooming kit, a medieval watering can, and a set of Victorian finger stocks, which would have been used to stop children fidgeting in the classroom. This was a very popular activity for children and adults alike, as most were genuinely baffled by some of the objects. Elsewhere in the park were two local YAC branches - Denbighshire and Wrexham. They were also kept very busy, making tiles and lavender bags, weaving and embroidering, and excavating finds from a sand-box.

On both days, the medieval re-enactment group Samhain were also present, with demonstrations of many aspects of medieval life. Members included several children, which was great fun for the visiting youngsters, as they could see what life might have been like for them 700 years ago. Another member had the role of a wise woman, who offered to do tarot readings for any interested visitors. Other demonstrations were in cookery, weaving and medicine, but the most exciting were the fighting and archery displays. Visiting children were offered the chance to wear a replica helmet, and be hit on the head with a sword, to see how it might have felt in a battle!


Right: Samhain founder Mike Roberts dressed as Owain Glyndwr YAC©

The Young Archaeologists’ Club is available for young people aged between 8 and 16. There are several branches in Wales, but if there are none near you, you can still join the club and receive the magazine four times a year and enter competitions (including the annual Young Archaeologist of the Year award). To join the Young Archaeologists’ Club, contact YAC, St Mary’s House, 66 Bootham, York, YO3 7BZ, tel. 01904 671417. Click here for a full list of branches in the UK.

More photos of this year's event here
It was amazing how different the shields were, and how much time and care most children took over making them. It was a big success, and something we will probably do again for National Archaeology Week.

Abi McCullough & Sophie Watson, July 2008

For further information and advice please contact Abi McCullough or Jeff Spencer
Tel. 01938 553670 or e-mail.

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