Ok, so this one has snuck up on us as it passed under our radar, but this coming weekend 13th June, the Institute of Archaeology are holding their ‘World Festival of Archaeology: Passport to the Past’ event as a precursor to the Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of British Archaeology to be held in July (of which more later).

The festival will involve lots of activities taking place in Gordon Square, London and in the Institute of Archaeology building for families and all members of the public, on Saturday 13 June from 12pm-5pm.

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Tours of the Institute’s world-renowned collections and object handling-sessions will be available while archaeologically-related activities for adults and children alike will also be on offer as well as displays of experimental archaeological techniques.

All activities are drop-in, there is no need to book (but see below re tours) and all are welcome!

Activities in Gordon Square Gardens should include:

  • Sandpit Archaeology: Learn how to excavate and unearth the past
  • From Skin to Leather: See how animal hides are transformed into leather
  • Meat: the Ancestors: see how our ancestors processed meat
  • Make it in Stone: See how to work flint into tools (flint knapping)
  • Conservator for a day: Be a conservator for the day: take part in aspects of conservation
  • Pace Yourself: Learn some basic archaeological surveying techniques
  • Tinder and Steel: Making fire in the Middle Ages
  • Fragmented Frescoes: Create a wall painting and help create a story from the past
  • Lighting up the Past: make a lamp: Make a working Roman/Greek lamp just like they did 2,000 years ago
  • Lets do the Time Warp: Learn an ancient weaving technique
  • Cave creations: Try making paints and see what kind of cave art you can create. Help make an art work for the Institute
  • Connect four stratigraphy: Connect the layers of time and race the other team
  • Meet the Alchemist: Turn your copper into gold
  • Fish mummification: Make your own mummified fish just like the Egyptians did
  • Underwater Archaeology-DSI-Deep Sea Investigation: Dive into the world of ancient shipwrecks
  • Whose Poo: Find out what people in the past had to eat by dissecting their poo

Indoor activities will include:

  • Conservation Laboratory – piecing together the past: See what’s involved in conserving objects for display in museums. Find out what we discover during conservation
  • When Bad Things Happen to Good Books: Come and see how damage and decay affect our books. Learn book mending and basic conservation techniques
  • Egyptian Rituals: Make your own servant to work for you in the Egyptian afterlife. Wax modelling and painting of Shabtis
  • Maya you have a Happy Birthday: Discover the Maya calendar and your birthday secrets
  • Scenes from the Past: Be inspired by archaeologists’ travels. Make your own greetings cards inspired by your archaeological expedition at the Institute
  • Sherds through Time: Create a timeline using Ancient Egyptian material from the Institute’s collections
  • What’s my Stuff: Use the Institute’s X-ray flourescent equipment to find out what your jewellery is made of
  • Petrie Museum: Try making your own pot inspired by the Petrie Museum’s collections
  • Film screening: View archival films from the archaeological record

In addition there will be tours and children’s trails throughout the afternoon – some booking may be required as tour spaces are limited.

For full details, see the Institute’s web page.