Leeds set to host events to coincide with the national Festival of Archaeology

The fun, mystery and delights of archaeology are to be celebrated in this year’s Festival of Archaeology later this week.

As part of the Festival of Archaeology 2014 (Sat 12 – Sun 27 Jul), Leeds Museums and Galleries will be providing a range of events to enjoy at sites across the city for people of all ages.

Kicking off the festival is a Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) themed workshop, which will provide those people with a passion or interest in historical investigations with a chance to participate in a number of activities using real human remains from the archaeology collections. Held at Leeds Discovery Centre this event is suitable for adults and children aged 7+ this event will be held on Saturday 12 July from 10am-12noon.

Since opening in 2008 Leeds City Museum has continued to celebrate a number of continents, and as part of its Ancient Worlds gallery, there is also the chance on Wednesday 16 from 2pm-4pm to handle money both ancient and modern, from places and regions across the world.

The atmospheric 12th century Cistercian ruins of Kirkstall Abbey have seen their fair share of interesting and intriguing stories over the years, and on Thursday 24 July from 10-11.30am, this family event sees the chance to have a go at making make clay tiles that once adorned its floors hundreds of years ago.

Leeds has a proud industrial history, find out more about its heritage and archaeology as Leeds Industrial Museum and its landscape is explored and clues uncovered on these hour long tours on Saturday 26 July at 12noon and 2pm. In addition, on Friday 18 July 10am-12noon, Leeds Industrial Museum will also host a drop-in family event that explores how industrial buildings are excavated, with a chance handle real objects from the collections and explore how technology has developed from the Stone Age to the present day.

There are approximately 25,000 individual artefacts in the Leeds Museums and Galleries’ archaeology collection which includes Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities as well as native British, European and archaeological material. The archaeology collections enable Leeds Museums and Galleries to engage and excite people about their local and national heritage, as well as to explore ancient civilisations across the world. The collection is the most varied and comprehensive collection of archaeological objects and archives representing the lives of people in the Leeds area. As part of a packed education programme offered at all museum and gallery sites across the city, archaeological objects are regularly used and groups are very welcome to request tours of the Leeds Discovery Centre to see the archaeology collections currently residing behind the scenes.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said:

“The Leeds Museums and Galleries archaeology collection is absolutely fantastic, and we are delighted to play our part in the festival starting on Saturday where a range of objects, pieces and artefacts will be showcased.

“There is a lot on offer, including a CSI themed Discovery workshop at Leeds Discovery Centre and landscape tour around Leeds Industrial Museum, and we hope anyone with a passion or interest for archaeology will take part.

“Given the sheer size of our archaeology collection it is simply not possible to display absolutely everything, but the good news is that if you book a tour of our Leeds Discovery Centre, this will offer a great flavour of what we have in our collections.”

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