Special school holidays event: Swindon Museum & Art Gallery's free family archaeology day

Written by A Correspondent on .

Roman Gold Coin - Swindon Museum and Art GalleryRoman Gold Coin - Swindon Museum and Art GalleryIf you thought Swindon only started with the railway age, think again!  The town's Museum and Art Gallery holds a rich collection of archaeological finds made in the area from the Stone Age onwards.
Swindon Museum and Art Gallery's family archaeology day is being held to mark its two year project Swindon’s Archaeology in Context - funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The fun day is on Saturday, July 28 from 11am to 3pm.  

[Click on image to enlarge it][Click on image to enlarge it]There will be expert archaeology talks to celebrate the improvements to the Gallery and for visitors to find out more about Swindon’s notable archaeological collection, and the Wiltshire Conservation and Museum Advisory Service will be on hand to showcase the skills and techniques they use to take care of archaeological collections. 

There will be the opportunity to try out some new skills such as using x-rays to see through years of mud and corrosion.   Children can ‘get crafty’ in a free workshop where they can make their own Roman Sword or spell out their name on a beaded Roman bracelet.  

Cotswold Archaeology will also be on hand to identify any small finds members of the public may have hidden at home. The team at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery encourage visitors to bring along any interesting artefacts they’ve unearthed and experts may be able to tell you what it is.

And Wessex Ulfolc, an early medieval re-enactment group, will be on site, bringing history to life.

The project team has made significant changes to stored archaeology collections, cataloguing and re-organising excavation archives to provide greater access for staff and researchers. 

The Archaeology Gallery has also been refreshed and updated, with new cabinets and plinths to display archaeological objects that have previously been in store, like the Wroughton Coin Hoard and Early Medieval grave goods.  

Detailed interpretation panels guide visitors through the history of Swindon. There is a fabulous new children’s area where youngsters can dress like a Roman or identify pottery like an archaeologist, as well as objects on open display for visitors to handle. 

The refresh of the gallery was made possible by the excellent team of volunteers, who have worked to uncover information about the Swindon collections.  Their contribution has enabled Swindon Museum and Art Gallery to fully catalogue and display objects in new and exciting ways.