Friday, 29 August 2014

Event: Romans in Ravenglass at Muncaster Living History Week

Romans in Ravenglass Outreach: the days we went to Muncaster Castle

Over the August bank holiday weekend, the Romans in Ravenglass Outreach team went along to the Muncaster Living History Week. We joined the Red-Wyvern Society, a historical re-enactment society out to recreate life during the 15th century, and a host of other entertainers.

Our first day on site was sunny Sunday. We set up displays in the tent, which included some of the artefacts from Season 1’s excavations.  

We also unveiled our family activity for the two days - our very own site mosaic. The first mosaic tile was laid down by Peter Frost-Pennington of Muncaster Castle and was gradually added to throughout the day.

The artefacts from Season 1 were also very popular. Visitors admired and tried to decipher the amphora rim graffito.

Monday saw the rain come in and the temperature drop, but that didn’t stop the enthusiasm of visitors to the Romans in Ravenglass tent. And we got a lot more of the mosaic completed!

We saw around 150 people over the two fantastic days at Muncaster Castle. Thanks to all of the staff there for making us feel so welcome and for helping us to spread the word about Season 2 of the Romans in Ravenglass project. Also thanks to project volunteers Kim, Rosalie and Philippa who helped on the day.

We’ll be working on completing the mosaic during the excavation open days in September. Be sure to come along to an open day on either 12, 13 or 27 September and add your own tile!

Lisa Keys, Minerva Heritage Ltd

Romans in Ravenglass Outreach Coordinator

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Comment: Not long now!

Hot off the press, it's the dig's 2014 tshirt!  Those who have already ordered theirs from ZikZak, should receive them soon.

Now it feels like the dig is really happening! Serious packing has begun here in York - we're tracking down and sorting out equipment, making sure we have paperwork, and everything else we need for a month's stay in Ravenglass.

The core digging team is the same as last year - Kurt is directing, Bryan and Rowan are supervising, and I will be lurking in the finds hut again. There will be changes in the staffing for the environmental sampling and fieldwalking, plus the addition of a Community Archaeologist on the open days to supervise the new Trench 4. There'll be more details in a later blog.

By this time next week in Ravenglass, the cabins will have arrived to form the compound. After picking up Rowan from ArcHeritage in Sheffield, and calling in at YAT in York to pick up the digging equipment, a big van will have arrived and been unpacked.

The team will be assembled and looking forward to another intensive and exciting excavation in the vicus at Ravenglass - see you soon!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Event: Romans in Ravenglass at Muncaster Living History Week

Romans in Ravenglass

Muncaster Living History Week – on 24th and 25th August      

On a sunny bank holiday in May 2014 the Romans in Ravenglass project team went along to the Muncaster Festival to talk to festival goers about the project, and to show off some of the artefacts that had been found during Season 1’s excavations in 2013. It was the first time the artefacts had been on public display.

The table of artefacts on display

Information displays and replicas for handling will be available at the Muncaster Living History Festival, which is organised by the Heritage Lottery Fund Romans in Ravenglass project partner, the Muncaster Estate

Artefacts included fragments of a Roman mortaria – a bowl used for grinding food - that had been made by Romans on the Warwickshire/Leicestershire border, and a jet bead. All of the artefacts give us an insight into the Roman vicus, or civilian settlement, that once thrived in the area.

Don’t worry if you missed them in May! You will get another chance to see them this coming bank holiday weekend at the Muncaster Living History Week at Muncaster Castle and Gardens. The project team, which includes volunteers working on the project, will be at the Festival on 24 and 25 August. We’ll be there with the artefacts as well as displays about Roman Ravenglass and activities for children.

Be sure to pop by and say hello!

Lisa Keys, Minerva Heritage Ltd

Romans in Ravenglass Outreach Coordinator

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Comment: Spare days on the dig

If you've volunteered for the dig, but not received an email giving you further details regarding parking, timetable, etc., please drop Holly a line.

We also have the following volunteer spaces still available. These are on a first come first serve basis.

  • Wednesday 3 September  - 5
  • Thursday 4 September – 2
  • Friday 5 September – 2
  • Saturday 6 September – 6
  • Sunday 7 September – 7
  • Sunday 14 September -2
  • Wednesday 17 September -2
  • Friday 19  September -1
  • Saturday 20 – 1
  • Sunday 21 – 4 
  • Thursday 25 September – 1
  • Saturday 27 – 6
  • Sunday 28 - 8
Contact Holly direct if you've already volunteered for this year, and want to do extra days. For further details, including instructions on how to apply if you haven't already signed up, go to the Lake District website

Press Release: Romans return to Ravenglass

Romans return to Ravenglass

This press release was published on: 20 Aug 2014

A major historic investigation into a nationally important coastal site is set to return next month. Roman stronghold Ravenglass, once a fort at the southern tip of Hadrian's Wall, will see the second season of a £125,000 community study into the key civilian settlement site.

The three-year Heritage Lottery Fund backed initiative was launched last year. Evidence of occupation was identified in three trenches, along with significant finds including a piece of Samian ceramic, possibly showing Venus.

Situated on the western fringe of the Lake District, Ravenglass boasts an ancient bathhouse, the region's tallest surviving Roman relic from an occupation spanning AD 120 through to the fourth century.

Lake District National Park's archaeology and heritage assistant, Holly Beavitt-Pike, said the important study focused on the significant civilian settlement.

She added: "This is a rare opportunity for people to get involved, not just in understanding their rich heritage, but to leave a lasting legacy.

"September sees us back again, continuing to explore the full extent of the civilian settlement and we are looking for volunteers to get involved.

"Alongside the investigation, we are also inviting members of the public to attend the open days on 12, 13 and 27 September .

"This will be a great opportunity for people to have a tour of the excavation sites, get their hands on some real Roman artefacts and even have a go at digging.

"The third event on Saturday, 27 September, marks the end of the season for the final dig. We'd love people to come along, see what we've found – and even meet a real Roman soldier!"

The open days run from 10.30am to 3pm.

Organised by the Lake District National Park, the project is also supported by Muncaster Parish Council, Muncaster Estate and the Copeland Community Fund.

Comment: T-shirts actually here!

Just heard from ZikZak, and the t-shirts are now available.  I went over to check and could only see the 2013.  Why?  I needed to refresh my browser - make sure you do that too when you check out the ZikZak as 2014's t-shirt is definitely there to order :D

Comment: Coming soon!

This (see above) is the text for the dig t-shirt this year, and it's just been delivered to our supplier, ZikZak. Last year's t-shirts are still available, but if you wait for a short while, there should be the option to order the 2014 version. Colour options are black and navy again. Should you want other colours (such as the much admired burgundy colour sported by Alison last year) you need to contact ZikZak direct. They only stock the navy and black in all sizes and styles, and have to order in other colours as required - their shop isn't big enough to have all the colour combos that might get requested!

Meanwhile, if you're not digging but intend to visit Ravenglass in September, you might find the Events poster useful.