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Opportunity to dig at Northstowe alongside the Cambridge Archaeological Unit — Access Cambridge Archaeology

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From next week there is a free community excavation starting that will be taking place alongside archaeologists from the Cambridge Archaeological Unit (CAU) at the new town of Northstowe. The community excavations at Northstowe will start on Monday 18th June 2018 at 9am and will run for five weeks until Friday 20th of July 2018. The dig is […]

via Opportunity to dig at Northstowe alongside the Cambridge Archaeological Unit — Access Cambridge Archaeology

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Making a living in Iron Age Britain

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The latest edition of the British Museum Membercast presents an

A close look at Blick Mead and Star Carr

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This is very exciting. It’s not often we get large excavation monographs devoted to single mesolithic sites in the UK (Three Ways Wharf stands out, a site that was published in 2011 and excavated in the 1980s), but recently within the space of a few weeks we got two: Blick Mead in mid March (photo […]

via A close look at Blick Mead and Star Carr — Mike Pitts – Digging Deeper

New course: Archaeology – Food and drink in the past — WEA Leicester

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The course will examine the social, cultural and economic factors that have influenced consumption in the human past via a wide range of archaeological evidence from around the world. Dates: Monday 4 June – 2 July 2018 Times: 10.00 am – 12.00 pm Number of weeks: 5 Venue: Newarke Houses Museum, The Newarke, Leicester LE2 7BY Tutor: Stephanie Vann Price: £38.50 […]

via New course: Archaeology – Food and drink in the past — WEA Leicester

Festival of Leicestershire and Rutland Archaeology 2018

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The Festival of Leicestershire and Rutland Archaeology 2018 will take place from Saturday 30th June to Sunday 29th July. It is a chance to discover more about the rich and diverse heritage of Leicestershire and Rutland. The Festival has a fascinating range of events, talks and guided tours from some of the county’s archaeological and historical experts.

More details, including a festival programme, are available at the Leicestershire Fieldworkers website.

Rise of Complex Societies: The Assyrians

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One of the civilisations mentioned during the course was the Assyrians, including one of their Kings, Ashurbanipal, and his library. Before the sun never set on the British Empire; before Genghis Khan swept the steppe; before Rome extended its influence to encircle the Mediterranean Sea; there was ancient Assyria. Considered by historians to be the first true empire, Assyria’s innovations laid the groundwork for every superpower that has followed. Marian H Feldman details the rise and fall of the Assyrian Empire.

Curator Mathilde Touillon-Ricci shares her research into the letters of Old Assyrian traders and the sometimes surprising ways in which they get around paying taxes

In this episode Curator Mathilde Touillon-Ricci explains the ancient Assyrian postal system and shows a number of rare examples of Assyrian envelopes – which don’t differ all that much from those still used today.

Rise of Complex Societies: Religion and Belief

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In our final session, we looked at religion and belief in Mesopotamia and their link to the rise of complex societies. We considered Mesopotamian deities, comparing and contrasting them to other, perhaps more familiar mythologies such as Graeco-Roman and Ancient Egyptian. We also examined case study sites such as Göbekli Tepe and the Royal Cemetery of Ur.

In this video from the British Museum Curator’s Corner series, Irving Finkel talks Mesopotamian demons, ghosts and sprites and how to deal with them:

In this video, artefacts and treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur are re-examined:

 

Iron Age Leicestershire: End of the Iron Age

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In our last session on Iron Age Leicestershire, we looked at the end of the Iron Age and the arrival of the Romans. This English Heritage webpage discusses the Iron Age Kings and their Roman Connections, whilst in this BBC Radio 4 programme from 2003, Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Romans in Britain.

Historian Bettany Hughes explores what made Britain so attractive to the ancient Romans that they made it a province of their great empire:

This animation explores life in Britain during the Roman Invasion and Boudica’s rebellion in 60AD:

Rise of Complex Societies: Trade and Money

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In our last session, we looked at trade in ancient Mesopotamia, touching on related concepts such as transportation and money such as the gold coin of Croesus, which was featured in A History of the World in 100 Objects, the podcast of which is available to listen to online.

Overland trade routes to the north and west followed the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, while to the east routes passed through the Zagros Mountains onto the resource rich Iranian plateau and beyond. The sea route via the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea and the Indus Valley was also very active.

Iron Age Leicestershire: Daily Life

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In our last session, we discussed the topic of daily life in the Iron Age in Leicestershire. What was life like in an Iron Age village? How did Iron Age people live? What did they eat? What did they wear? For those who are interested in finding out more about the latter, it is possible to search the Portable Antiquities Scheme database to discover more about what small objects e.g. brooches have been discovered in the county.

This video clip on family life in the Iron Age was originally filmed for for the Museum of Liverpool Life.