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UNISON's 'time team' dig for knowledge – University of Reading

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UNISON's 'time team' dig for knowledge

Release Date 21 July 2005

The remarkable Town Life archaeological excavation in Silchester is to be opened up to UNISON members and public sector workers, in a unique partnership with the University of Reading. The 'Dig for Knowledge' open day on Saturday 30 July will enable members and their families to view the excavation, sift for treasures, as well as learn from the on-site archaeologists with demonstrations, talks and tours. This latest initiative from the union's Open College aims to open up new learning opportunities to as wide an audience as possible. The union wants to encourage people who may have traditionally been excluded from learning, to get involved in UNISON's innovative learning programmes. Steve Williams, UNISON's Head of Open College said: "UNISON has a proud tradition of encouraging members into learning and this is one of our most imaginative schemes. We know many UNISON members have been interested in the 'Time Team' programmes on the TV and this UNISON-only Open Day at Silchester will give them the chance to see the site, meet archaeologists, and have hands-on experience of a dig. "We are excited at our partnership with the University of Reading and expect many UNISON members to come along and find out what a fascinating and rewarding subject archaeology can be." Professor Michael Fulford, Director of the Silchester Town Life project, said: "The University is delighted to be working with UNISON to hold this open day at Silchester for its members. Universities and higher education can appear remote and intimidating to many people. "UNISON visitors will have the opportunity of learning from University staff and students about one of the University's flagship research projects and how easy, as ordinary members of the public, it is to participate and learn about our past." The Town Life project is an excavation of one part of the large Iron Age/Roman town at Silchester. The site is remarkable because, unlike most Roman towns in Britain, it was abandoned in the fifth century AD. The purpose of the excavation is to trace the site's development from its origins before the Roman Conquest to its abandonment. Admission and activities are free to all public service employees and their families. UNISON members who register in advance will get a free lunch and an information pack. End Notes for editors 1. For more information about Silchester, please visit 2. Further information about UNISON can be found at Contacts -UNISON: Anne Mitchell. Tel: 0207 383 0717. Email: -The University of Reading: Craig Hillsley. Tel: 0118 378 7388. Email:

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