Dr Penelope Foreman BSc PGCE PhD FRGS
CHIEF MEMORY MAKER AND STORYTELLER / COMMUNITY ARCHAEOLOGIST
I began my role as Community Archaeologist with Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust in May 2018. I however prefer my official long job title: Chief Memory Maker and Storyteller. I’m at heart a storyteller – whether that’s an academic paper based on my thesis, running a school outreach session on one of our dig open days, or leading an immersive, atmospheric storytelling session in a fire-lit roundhouse covered in woad and cloaked in the colours of ancient Britons.
I’m an an education and outreach specialist with almost ten years teaching experience in primary classrooms, with a particular focus on young people classed as reluctant learners, at risk of exclusion, or with additional learning needs. Archaeologically speaking my passions are at the two polar opposites of human activity: prehistory (particularly Mesolithic and Neolithic archaeology) and industrial to post industrial landscapes.
After my first degree in archaeology (York, 2005), I took a ten year hiatus from academia and worked in roles from events management to supply teacher – though constantly maintaining contact to heritage through both volunteer and paid consultancy roles. However, I couldn’t resist the call of archaeology forever and returned to do my PhD (Bournemouth 2015-2018) – looking at the use of colour in Neolithic monuments in north west Europe. This topic allowed me to do many exciting public engagement activities involving colour experiments, playing with dark and light spaces, and exploring what colour means to different cultures.
My current main focus is the Unloved Heritage project, a Wales wide HLF youth led scheme to get some of the more recent, unsung heritage of Wales the love it needs : facilitating skills, self confidence, creative arts, and joy in the past among young people from diverse backgrounds. I’m working with a group based at John Beddoes school, Presteigne, and we’re developing a travelling “pop up time vortex museum”, a VR sensory experience that allows the visitor to be in the changing landscape of rural Wales before and after the coming of the combustion engine.