Ancient Dust Busters
In 2020, we collaborated with the Archaeology department at the University of York on the Wellcome-funded Ancient Dust Busters project. It focused on providing opportunities for children to understand the importance of air quality, environmental and oral health through archaeology and natural history.
Our work with the principal investigator included;
- Access to relevant material in our collection
- Creating learning resources
- International virtual outreach sessions
- Staging an exhibition at our DIG attraction to showcase the results
Viking Hack came from our partnership with the White Rose College of Arts and Humanities as well as the Archaeology Department at the University of York. It was a Museums-Universities partnerships initiative funded by the Arts Council England Resilience Fund and delivered by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.
Between 2017-18 we looked at approaches to ‘difficult histories’ via affective interpretation at a range of museums and heritage sites. We wanted to understand how similar techniques might be applied at our attractions. The project team visited sites in the US to develop a set of recommendations that we have since implemented.
In 2019 York Archaeology participated in Royal Holloway’s AHRC-funded project: ‘Transatlantic Perspectives on the Use of Data Science in Museums and Heritage’. Through advanced data science it created a network that helped realise the full potential of a museum’s visitor data. For example, visitor numbers, social media comments etc. in order to better understand and improve visitor engagement.
Barley Hall Collaboration
Barley Hall is a reconstructed medieval townhouse in the centre of York and is also one of our attractions. Visitors can explore what the building may have been like when it was the residence for the canons of Nostell Priory.
Since 2018 we have worked with specialists at the University of Huddersfield to assess our interpretive offer there. The team has looked at how the narrative presented to visitors deals with one period in the building’s early history.
So far it has resulted in a paper given at the EAEA15: Envisioning Architectural Narratives Conference and published in the conference monograph.
In 2018 the Community Engagement team worked with the University of York’s AHRC-funded Melting Pot project. The aim was to use cutting-edge archaeological science to explore Viking-age cooking and society. We invited A-level science students from York College to see if we could replicate how Vikings cooked 1100 years ago.
The resulting samples of cooking residues were investigated by the University’s BioArCh lab to produce new data for the project. It showed the students how scientific methods are applied in archaeology and also made them aware of some of the careers available in archaeological science. The results appeared in a dedicated exhibition at DIG.
Helen Thirza Addyman Lectures
Each year York Archaeology promotes the dissemination of the latest research on the Viking period through the Helen Thirza Addyman Lecture series the Richard Hall Symposium, both of which take place during the annual JORVIK Viking Festival in February. These events aim to engage with both academic and non-specialist audiences, and generally adopt a theme in support of recent or forthcoming developments or displays at the JORVIK Viking Centre.