Saturday, 7 June 2014

Report: Project Results Evening, 3rd June

There was a great line up of talks about the results from 2013's Romans in Ravenglass digging season.  Also promised was a preview of plans for the  2014's excavations  ...

Finds Viewing
First up, as from 6.30pm, was the Finds Viewing. In fact, some people were so keen, that they arrived well before the advertised time, and the finds were still being unpacked!  Sandra and Kurt fielded lots of questions, and even got to view some pottery brought in by a local collector.

By 7pm, when the talks were about to begin, the Old Laundry at Muncaster Castle was pretty much packed!  There were new faces, as well veterans from 2013.

When everyone was settled, an introduction was given by Peter Frost-Pennington of Muncaster Castle who is the managing director of the land the excavations are on. He was looking forward to hearing about the results and the forthcoming season.

Holly spoke briefly about the upcoming showing of Romans in Ravenglass film and thanked the community for their participation in the project so far.
 The various versions of the Romans in Ravenglass film can be found here.

The excavations
After this, Kurt spoke about the results of last year's dig, which included an overview of the trench results (see Trench 1, Trench 2 and Trench 3 reports), and also the extensive Geophyscial survey. For 2014 Kurt told us about new Trench 4 to be used for schools and open days, giving the opportunity for schools (when they visit with Lisa) and visitors (on the Open Days) to have a go at digging. In addition, there are plans to have volunteer placements on site and helping on finds. These are for people with some experience who will have the opportunity to go into either site or finds work more deeply and have more responsibility. They will have longer stretches of time doing site or finds work. Further details will appear here and on the Lake District website soon.

The site will be open from Wednesday to Sunday, a change from the previous year. Sunday will allow those who work elsewhere during the week to have a choice of days to come to site, as well as allowing more weekend visitors to look round the excavations.

Lisa then told the audience about the Outreach programme, which allowed several local schools to have a fun time learning about the Romans and digging in the classroom as well as on site.  In 2014 there will be three more site Open Days on the 12th, 13th and 27th September, as well as more schools visiting, along with the local Young Archaeologists' Club and Lake District Young Rangers

Last year, day-to-day site tours were run by dig stalwarts Leo and Brian, who managed to cover most days throughout the four weeks, and along with others as visitor numbers went up later on in the season. Visitor Experience Guides are now needed this season to spread the word about the background to the project and show the public and passers by around the site, and those interested will need to attend a training session on  August 9th - see further details here. The Romans in Ravenglass project finds will also be on display at the Living History Festival 24th-25th August at Muncaster Castle, and volunteers are needed for this event.

Sign up
The signing up forms for the 2014 season can be found on the Lake District's Roman in Ravenglass webpage.

After a short session of questions, the evening ended with people enthused and ready for the next season of excavations in September!