Cadw to support community archaeology opportunities across Wales

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Wales is celebrating its rich heritage this week during the UK-wide Festival of Archaeology, and as part of the festival celebrations Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment service, is unveiling its Community Archaeology Framework. The framework, which is to be launched by the Minister for Culture and Sport, John Griffiths at Castell Coch on Wednesday 24 July, will open up exciting opportunities in community archaeology across Wales.

Pupils from Dewstow Primary School discovering archaeology as part of the Llanmelin Community Project

Pupils from Dewstow Primary School

The new framework forms part of the Historic Environment Strategy for Wales and sets out to provide more opportunities in archaeology through encouraging participation in conservation projects, carrying out new research and contributing to knowledge about the past. It will promote active learning amongst communities, encouraging people to explore Welsh heritage whilst developing new skills. 

John Griffiths, Minister for Culture and Heritage said: 'Archaeology has the potential to support communities across Wales, providing a sense of belonging by linking the past to the present and creating a sense of place, shared heritage and identity.  

'There are some fantastic organisations and schemes already in place supporting participation in archaeological projects including the four Welsh archaeological trusts which have covered the whole of Wales since the 1970s, thriving archaeological societies and clubs and archaeology departments at Welsh universities. In recent years the Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Skills for the Future’ programme has supported the hosting of community archaeology bursaries at a number of Welsh heritage organisations.

'Through our new Community Archaeology Framework we will continue to work closely with our partners to build expertise and develop programmes that will draw upon the diverse nature of archaeology, to provide effective education and transferable skills and give everyone the opportunity to make a genuine contribution to discovering and sharing the stories of our past.

'It’s fitting that we’re launching this framework during the Festival of Archaeology, and at Castell Coch alongside one of the Festival events which opens up the archaeological experience for visitors.'

The launch will be attended by representatives from Cadw’s partner organisations including, amongst others, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW), the four Welsh Archaeological Trusts, the Council for British Archaeology and National Trust and National Museum Wales. The launch will coincide with Festival of Archaeology event ‘Excavating Medieval Castell Coch: A Victorian Expedition’, which is taking place at the castle from 22 – 24 July.

The Festival of Archaeology is coordinated by the Council for Britsh Archaeology and takes place over two weeks in late July every year. It provides opportunities for members of the public to get hands-on experience with archaeology.  

Other Festival of Archaeology events in Wales include:

  • Heritage Arts and Crafts events – taking place at seven Cadw sites between July 22 and July 26 with hands-on historical workshops and demonstrations. Families are invited to learn about their heritage and try their hand at an ancient craft, or learning from history experts.
  • Caerphilly Castle Medieval Mysteries Day – 25 July from 10:30am – 4.00pm. Families can enjoy a day of hands-on art, craft and traditional skills activities, tours and talks, with the option of a medieval buffet lunch.
  • Lamphey Bishop’s Palace 40s and Forces – 27 & 28 July from 10:30am – 4.00pm. Step back in time and meet American GIs and the Women's Land Army. Explore an alternative history of this medieval bishop's palace as it played host to American troops in the run up to the Normandy landings.

For details of further events in Wales visit www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk