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Roman Britain opens to visitors – University of Reading

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Roman Britain opens to visitors

Release Date 13 July 2006

a child at SilchesterVisitors will be able to experience what life was really like in Roman Britain when the archaeological dig site of Silchester Roman Town holds two free Open Days on Saturday 22 July and Saturday 5 August. Both running from 10:00am – 4:30pm, the Open Days offer visitors of all ages the chance to learn more about Britain after the Roman conquest. Experts from the University of Reading's Archaeology Department will lead tours of the excavation site and there will be demonstrations of Roman blacksmithing, weaving and spinning. Children will be able to dress up in Roman costume, take part in mini excavations and handle real archaeological finds discovered at the site. The author Lindsey Davis will also be giving talks at 11:00am and 2:30pm during the 22 July Open Day. Writer of the popular Falco Roman detective novels, Lindsey will read from her recently released novel 'See Delphi and Die' and take part in a book signing. Running for six weeks every summer, 2006 sees the tenth season of work at the site situated between Reading and Basingstoke, which staff and students from the University of Reading have been excavating since 1997. 'The Open Days are a fantastic opportunity for visitors to really understand this important part of our history,' said Professor Michael Fulford, the project's director. 'The Silchester project itself has been very successful and this year we intend to deepen our understanding of the site by using new technology to conduct geophysical surveys of the area and to improve the way we analyse the data we collect by developing a Virtual Research Environment.' The project is both a training Field School and a research excavation located in the heart of Calleva Atrebatum, a major Roman civitas capital (administrative centre), situated in the modern village of Silchester. The excavation is tracing the Iron Age origins, subsequent Roman development and eventual abandonment of one 'insula' (city block) of the town. For further information visit http://www.silchester.reading.ac.uk or contact the University of Reading's Archaeology Department on 0118 378 8132. During the Field School season, which runs until 13 August, visitors are welcome at the site to see the excavation in progress every day, except Fridays, between 10:00am and 4:30pm. Groups must book in advance. Ends Photographers and camera crews are welcome to visit the site and the Project Director, Professor Michael Fulford, and the Director of the Field School, Amanda Clarke, are available for interview. For media enquiries, please contact: Eleanor Holmes Press Officer, the University of Reading T: 0118 378 6166 E: e.m.holmes@reading.ac.uk

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