Outreach & Public Engagement

Staff within the Department of Archaeology have a strong commitment to engage positively with the local community, especially with schools and colleges.

Our internationally renowned research in a variety of topics and eras underpins our outreach projects and resources, which aim to provide a unique opportunity for students to experience archaeology hands-on. Archaeology as an academic discipline combines aspects of both the humanities and the sciences, and our students gain a wide range of specific and transferable skills.

If you are interested in Archaeology at University level, please come to one of our Open Days, when the department offers a full programme of activities. This is a unique opportunity to visit both us and other University departments, and to see the Reading campus.

The following outreach activities are available throughout the academic year, with some available both online and as part of a practical workshop for local/regional schools and colleges delivered by our team of experts.  

Vale of Pewsey Field School

Suitable for all Key Stages and general public - Late June 2016pewsey

Would you like to learn about people who lived thousands of years ago in one of the world's most important archaeological regions?

Take part in the University of Reading's Archaeology Field School in the Vale of Pewsey and step back in time to 2400 BC. See the world through the eyes of the Neolithic men and women who built and worshipped at Stonehenge.

The field school is suitable for A-level (or equivalent) and GCSE students with an interest in archaeology and history to come along for a week or two of field experience. Training in all aspects will be provided from excavation, drawing, and photography to scientific analysis. Reduced costs and bursaries for A-level students may be available. Whole classes (primary and secondary) and general public visits are also welcome.

For more information on this project please visit the Field School website and contact a.s.clarke@reading.ac.uk.

Medieval Teenagers and the Black Death

Suitable for KS3 medieval

Think it's tough being a teenager? Step back in time with a team of archaeologists and discover just how unfair life used to be for the teens of medieval Britain, especially for William Westoby, a teenage boy who is forced to take up arduous and dangerous work in medieval York.

This resource will expose students to the harsh realities of growing up in the 14th century, in both town and villages, and with The Black Death looming in the not-too-distant future. It links with the KS3 History Curriculum, and students learn about medieval history, osteology and biology and the human life-course. Where you live could be the difference between life and death...

This resource can be taken to local and regional schools as a one hour workshop. For more information and bookings please contact: a.portas@reading.ac.uk.

Romans Revealed

Suitable for KS2 romans

Who were the real Romans? Where did they come from? How did they live? Explore how diverse Roman Britain was through the life of four individuals who lived in the Romano-British towns of Winchester and York.

With this teaching resource for Key Stage 2 we have created an entire website dedicated to Roma Britain: Romans Revealed. The website presents four individuals selected from our research (some locals and some incomers) and children can explore them either through 'digging up' their graves or through following short stories written by Caroline Lawrence.

A further teaching resource has been developed around the character of Julia Tertia, also known as the 'Ivory Bangle Lady'; this woman has African ancestry, allowing teachers to explore ancient migration and diversity.

Human Evolution

Suitable for KS2 evolution-outreach

Evolution does not happen overnight - it took us millions of years to look and behave as we do today. But how did this happen? What physical changes have we been through?

With this resource we guide pupils through an evolutionary timeline allowing them a unique opportunity to become archaeologists and handle skulls and hand tools from our ancestors, from Lucy the Australopithecine to Neanderthals and beyond.

This resource can be taken to local/regional schools as a one hour classroom workshop and has links with the KS2 History Curriculum (prehistory) and the KS2 Science Curriculum (evolution). For more information and bookings please contact: a.portas@reading.ac.uk

The Palaeolithic Rivers of South-West Britain (PRoSWeB)

The Palaeolithic Rivers of South-West Britain or PRoSWeB is a project web resource which aims to improve our understanding of the Palaeolithic archaeology of the south-west region, through artefacts (which consists of stone artefacts, largely handaxes), the evolution of the region's river valley landscapes and the scope and extent of the hominin occupation during the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic periods (which date to between approximately 900,000 and 40,000 years ago in Britain).

For more information about this project please get in touch with Dr Robert Hosfield . You can also listen to Rob talking about the early prehistory of Reading here.

Useful links

Included below are a number of website links which may be of use to both you and your students in finding out more about Archaeology, planning site visits, or locating resources for teaching.

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