About the Project

Welcome to our community archaeology outreach project. Based at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.  This two year project aims to make working with archaeological finds in Lincolnshire more exciting than you could ever imagine!

Community archaeology projects have gone from strength to strength over the last few years. One of the things that make such projects so exciting is they allow a direct connection with the past through the discovery and handling of archaeological objects. Although many projects include funding for professionals to undertake the vital steps needed to analyse, record and archive such objects the ability for volunteers to take part in this activity has often been limited. With the support from the Heritage Lottery Fund we are changing this situation in Lincolnshire.

The current project  builds on this very strong interest in archaeological artefacts by widening understanding and engaging volunteers directly in the ‘post-excavation’ process. Bishop Grosseteste University  Lincoln has for sometime been happy to provide informal support to a number of community groups advising them on how to deal with the finds that their projects have generated, partly by allowing occasional use of the archaeology resources of the University and partly by directing them to suitable specialists.

With the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund we can now help many more people learn about ‘their’ objects and develop the personal skills of volunteers in areas such as heritage documentation, research, basic object conservation and digital technologies. Without the development of suitable skills community groups run the risk of recovering archaeological artefacts which then become vulnerable to loss or damage. This project  helps volunteers to take informed ‘ownership’ of the steps needed to preserve this irreplaceable portable heritage for their own and future generations.

More widely the project aims to raise awareness of the importance of archaeological artefacts within community history and in educational contexts across Lincolnshire. The project – which will run for two years – also aims to develop a group of key volunteers with the appropriate skills and knowledge to be able to undertake future research within the extensive collections of the Lincolnshire Archaeological Archives.

The project has three main parts as follows;

Archaeology Open Lab: The project provides direct support for community archaeology groups to process, record, analyse and research artefacts derived from their own fieldwork activities by enabling supervised community use of the University’s facilities and access to professional archaeological specialists.

Archaeological Artefacts Road Show: By engaging with the public’s enthusiasm for artefacts the project aims to develop a better appreciation and understanding of the significance of archaeological heritage in rural communities (and associated small rural schools) by means of public events, talks and school visits and workshops.

Volunteer Skills Development: The project  fosters the sustainable development of community archaeology in Lincolnshire through skills development including; archaeological documentation training including illustration skills, artefact quantification, research and analysis, basic object conservation management and digital technologies (including IT and photography). It is an aim of the project to establish a cadre of skilled community archaeology volunteers who will be able to initiate and deliver future
conservation and research activities associated with Lincolnshire County Council’s Archaeological Archive.

Steering Group

The project is advised by a Steering Group comprising: academic and outreach staff of Bishop Grosseteste University ,  the Archaeology Officer at ‘The Collection: Art and Archaeology in Lincolnshire’, the Lincolnshire Finds Liaison Officer (Portable Antiquities Scheme), and representatives of the following groups – Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, Navenby Archaeology Group, South Witham Archaeology Group, Nettleham Heritage Association, Grantham Archaeology Group and the Lincoln Archaeology Group for Education and Research.

If you’d like to join our email mailing list please contact us (by email preferably!) and if you tweet why not follow us as well.

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2 Responses to About the Project

  1. Carole Hagan says:

    How can interested people become involved as a community archaeology volunteer?

    • openlabhlf says:

      Hello Carol,
      I apologise for taking so long to reply. We have only just started to use our site again. The best way to get involved is to either contact your local community archaeology group or come to one of our Open Lab sessions. If you let me know what area you live or work in I can find the contact details for your local group. You can also have a look on the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) website wich lists projects to get involved in. If you want to come along to one of our Open Lab sessions let me know and we can arrange a date. You would be very welcome.

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