A Community Archaeology Resource Review

One of the flints found during 2018 excavation. Credit NFNPA

Across the New Forest like the UK, many volunteers and community groups undertake their own archaeological research and fieldwork.
Last year, the Authority commissioned Oxford Archaeology to identify and review guidance resources readily accessible to volunteers and community groups undertaking their own archaeological investigations. The research was undertaken as part of the Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund (now the National Lottery Heritage Fund). The results of the research are now released and published online.

The results demonstrate that there is a demand for simple ‘how-to’ guides with signposting to more detailed information produced by well-recognised and easily identifiable sources. The extent of knowledge exchange and local adaption of guidance resources has probably been underestimated, and indicates that the professional archaeological sector needs to do more to understand and aid the transfer of accurate, reliable and user-friendly information amongst community volunteer archaeologists.

Over three hundred and fifty archaeological guidance resources have been identified indicating that there is already a large amount of material readily available on a wide range of topics. However, there are some notable gaps in guidance materials, particularly on running projects and reporting and disseminating the results. There is an issue of knowing what has already been produced and searching for it. There are also some notable gaps in guidance materials, particularly on running projects and reporting and disseminating the results.

Online, there is a tendency not to refer to specific sources of guidance but to use Internet search engines to find information, although it should not be presumed that use of social media platforms and other online services is universal. Many community volunteer archaeologists still like to have written notes to accompany electronic media such as videos, and want to refer to hard copies of information when collecting data or taking a break from using screens.

There has been limited evaluation of the extent, use and impact of these resources prior to this study. This review has not involved ranking or critiquing existing guidance but getting an understanding of what exists, what is accessible and what volunteers and community groups engage with. It is hoped that this review will be of interest to the wider archaeological sector and help to inform the creation of new resources in the future.

The full report and supplementary documents can be downloaded from OA’s online library here: https://library.thehumanjourney.net/4636/

For more information about the resource review please contact: community@oxfordarch.co.uk or 01223 850515

Community Archaeology Resource Review

Volunteers at Creek Cottages. Credit: NFNPA

Can you help us?

In the UK, many volunteers and community groups undertake their own archaeological research and fieldwork.

As part of the Our Past, Our Future Landscape Partnership Scheme supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the New Forest National Park Authority has commissioned Oxford Archaeology to review the guidance that people refer to when undertaking self-guided archaeological work. These ‘how to’ guides might be about identifying, researching and recording archaeological sites and finds and may be in the form of textbooks, digital or printed media.

At this stage, we are looking to identify guidance materials produced for or used by volunteers and community groups. We are also interested in any reports which evaluate this guidance. Over the coming months, we will also be producing an online survey and running focus groups to find out what guides people currently refer to, where they access them and what they find useful.

The review is not about ranking or critiquing existing guidance but getting an understanding of what exists, what is accessible and what volunteers and community groups engage with. It is hoped that this review will be of interest to the wider archaeological sector and help to inform the creation of new resources in the future.

Please get in touch if you:
•Have produced, used or evaluated any guidance materials you think should be included in this review. This can be done by email or completing this simple form.
•Could circulate the online questionnaire to your contacts in community archaeology.
•Are interested in our focus group methodology and would like to run your own focus groups with volunteers and community groups to find out about the guidance they use and find useful.
•Want to know about the results of the study and our recommendations for creating future community archaeology resources.

Community Heritage Fair – Invite

Community Heritage Fair Small

We would like to invite you all to join us for the New Forest Community Heritage Fair.

Date: Tuesday 6th November

Times: 10am – 3pm

Location: Lyndhurst Community Centre

Join us for a celebration of the New Forest’s Heritage presented by the people who know it best; the local community.

The New Forest Community Heritage Fair will see groups from around the Forest come together to share their current research and passion for the fascinating history of the New Forest.

Groups will be displaying their research in the form of exhibitions, manned information stands, posters, books and talks for the day.

The event is a perfect opportunity to find out more about heritage on your doorstep and chat with some local experts. It might even inspire you to join your local group and discover a new passion or finally get around to getting hands on with something you’ve always had an interest in?

Please pop in during the day and see what you might discover.

Find out more: www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/heritagefair

You can download and share the poster here: CHF Poster

You can download and share the flyer here: CHF Flyer

The following groups will be in attendance

  • Lepe Country Park
  • Rockbourne Roman Villa
  • Portable Antiquities Scheme
  • Beaulieu History Society
  • Netley Marsh History Group
  • New Forest History and Archaeology Group
  • Milford on Sea Historical Record Society
  • LoCATE (Local Community Archaeological Training and Equipment)
  • Friends of Hurst Castle
  • New Forest Heritage Centre
  • Romsey Local Historians
  • Copythorne Parish History Society
  • St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery
  • Minstead Local History Group
  • Wellow History Society
  • Emery Down – How we used to Live
  • Avon Valley Archaeology Society
  • Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART) New Forest
  • Hampshire Medieval Graffiti Project
  • New Forest Knowledge
  • Maritime Archaeology Trust

Community Heritage Fair Large

 

 

Emery Down Christ Church Graveyard Survey – Sunday 19th August

RTI3 After - Christ Church Emery Down

As part of the Our Past, Our Future, Heritage Lottery Funded (HLF) Landscape Partnership Scheme the New Forest National Park Archaeology Team have been working with Emery Down to survey the condition of, and record the monuments in Christ Church graveyard. The survey will help accurately map and identify monuments that can be conserved using HLF funds and will ultimately create a database for ongoing management of the graveyard. The other ambition is to make the list of burials and monuments within the graveyard available to the public on this site to help people who are researching their family trees.

As well as hard graft from volunteers we have been using technology to help us reveal the secrets of Christ Church; Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI). The process involves taking numerous photos of one monument with a raking light and then letting the computer do the hard work to produce some amazing results. If you are interested in learning more about RTI photography you can do: here. The results produced highlighted how valuable RTI is; as the inscriptions that were once illegible have now been legible, providing a greater resource within the overall survey and documentation process.

We will be returning to Emery Down on Sunday 19th August 2018 at 14:00 to undertake the next survey area. All are welcome to come and give it a go and help compile the graveyard record. If you are interested in joining then email archaeology@newforestnpa.gov.uk for more information.

To see what we have been upto in Christ Church Graveyard to date have a read of the this article on New Forest Knowledge: Revealing the secrets of Emery Down Churchyard

Example of RTI Photography at Emery Down

Lepe into History Festival

Explore Lepe’s fascinating history over one fun-packed weekend!

1 June 2019 10:00am to 2 June 2019 3:00pm

Lepe Into History Festival Poster

Explore Lepe’s fascinating history over one fun-packed weekend! With: A Parade and Big Band, Period Music, Theatre Show, Exhibitions, Displays, Remembrance Service, Face Painting, Children’s Trails, and Guided Walks.

(Parking charges apply)

The New Forest National Park Authority, CITiZAN and the Maritime Archaeology Trust will all be in attendance sharing the history of Lepe and celebrating the key role in played in D Day 75 years ago.

You can find out more about the role the New Forest played in D Day on this site here