The Woodland Heritage Festival 2016 Piccies!

Some great shots from a great day! Can’t wait for next years festival!


#HeritageFest16- #free Woodland Heritage #festival in #Sheffield

We’ve all been busy beind the scenes preparing for the second Woodland Heritage Festival.

That is on this Bank Holday Monday, May 30th, at the Ecclesall Woods Discovery Centre.

Here are some pictures of all the activities from last year’s festival.

It’s a FREE family-friendly archaeology and heritage festival. We’ll have the same great hands-on practical archaeology activities as last year

  • pottery-making
  • iron smelting
  • copper craft
  • zooarchaeology
  • human osteology
  • experimental Q-pit charcoal-making

Plus we have some new crafty things for kids (and kids-at-heart):

  • “cave” (paper wall) painting
  • “bone” (soap) carving
  • a landscape archaeology scavenger hunt (with prizes!)


  • costumed historic characters – Bess of Hardwick and her friends
  • two talks on history and protest from the English department

As a reminder of all the cool things on offer, I will be re-sharing the podcasts of last year’s archaeology talks in the lead up to Monday 30th May.

See you there!

2016 heritage festival poster

Osteoarchaeology with the Young Archaeologists’ Club

This post is about our volunteer’s activity with the Sheffield Young Archaeologists’ Club at the Department of Archaeology Osteology Lab. Our Archaeology in the City volunteer Kris is also a leader with the Sheffield YAC, and MA Osteoarchaeology student Emma developed and led an osteology activity.

This month Archaeology in the City and the YAC joined forces again to do another archaeology activity. This time we looked at how investigating skeletons can tell us about peoples’ health in the past.

Emma started off giving the club members two (plastic) skeletons – the group had to assemble the skeletons correctly… but to make things more interesting, a few parts been swapped between boxes, or left out completely. This is a real problem faced by archaeologists excavating ancient burials – sometimes bits do go astray.


Next, Emma showed us some indicators of health. Your teeth say a lot about you – the Department’s teaching and reference collection includes many examples of dental health: cavities, plaque, abcesses and antemortem tooth loss.

Finally, Emma showed us some examples of trauma – the skeleton of a young man who had been badly injured in an industrial accident in the 17th century, but who lived for several years afterwards, and the skull of a man who had met his end on a medieval battlefield.

The YAC members handled these real skeletons with respect and care, and asked some really good questions.

Emma designed and implemented this activity herself – she’s an MA student at Sheffield, and is planning to apply for her PhD here too, so fingers crossed she can do some more activities with the YAC in the future.

Feast in the Forest Meets Q Pitting!

The team were enjoying a day up at Ecclesall Woods Discovery Centre last Sunday at the fantastic Feast in the Forest event. Along side some incredibly scrumptious local produce stalls, fascinating craft stalls, live music and much much ‘s’more’… excuse the pun but there was even a s’more camp fire, a delicious addition to the event, Archaeology in the City were there experimenting with Q-pits again and getting the public involved with learning about these post medieval white coal production kilns. Not only was this a fun way to get the public involved in experimental archaeology, it also counts towards furthering our understanding of this industrial process!11692707_1674966736093522_4356366765700095513_n



This is a yearly event so if you missed Feast in the Forest this be sure to come along next year!

A recent school visit – Rock Art & Artefacts

Archaeology in the City were invited back to a primary school on the edges of Sheffield and had a great afternoon session with the Key Stage 2 kids supporting their prehistory module.


The children had already visited Creswell Crags and learned the basic timeline of prehistory. They had made some very cool cave paintings of various megafauna, like the Lascaux cave art, but hadn’t seen much of the pecked or engraved rock art which is so common in Yorkshire. Continue reading