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Discover Roman Britain at the Silchester Open Days – University of Reading

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Discover Roman Britain at the Silchester Open Days

Release Date 19 July 2011


This summer the public have a wonderful opportunity to find out more about Silchester Roman Town, which the University of Reading's Archaeology Department has been excavating and researching since 1997.

The ever popular Open Days are free to attend and will be held on Saturday 23 July and Saturday 6 August.

On both days, the public have a wonderful opportunity to find out how life really was in a Roman town with Silchester experts on hand to give tours and talks. There will also be demonstrations and a chance for children to dress up and take part in a mini excavation, as well as handle some fascinating finds.

Finds from 2010 have been cleaned for display, and this year's Field School has already uncovered exciting new evidence of the origins of the town in the Iron Age.

The Silchester Field School takes place every summer for six weeks during which time all first year archaeology students at the University of Reading attend along with external participants from all over the world. They will be excavating Insula IX, one part of the large town at Silchester. The purpose of the excavation is to trace the site's development from its origins before the Roman conquest to its abandonment in the fifth century AD.

During the Field School, which runs until 14 August, visitors are welcome to see the excavation in progress every day, except Fridays, between 10:00am and 4:30pm. Groups must book in advance.

Professor Fulford added: "Visitors are bound to enjoy coming to the site where they can learn from our team of experts and even have a go at excavation themselves - you never know what you might find!"

The Open Days will run from 10:00am to 4:30pm. For directions to the site, please visit

These events are part of the 2011 Festival of British Archaeology


For more information, please contact James Barr, press officer, on 0118 378 7115 or email, or Rona Cheeseman, press officer, on 0118 378 7388, email

Notes to editor

The Department of Archaeology has an international reputation in research and teaching. The University was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize 2009 in recognition of the excellence of the archaeology department, which, uniquely within the study of archaeology, combines ground-breaking research, enterprise and teaching.

The Field School is a key module in undergraduate degrees and provides students with a sound knowledge of archaeological field techniques as well as teamwork, numeracy and IT skills.

University of Reading is rated as one of the top 200 universities in the world (THE-QS World Rankings 2009).

  • The University of Reading is one of the UK's top research-intensive universities. The University is ranked in the top 20 UK higher education institutions in securing research council grants worth nearly £10 million from EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, NERC, AHRC and BBSRC. In the RAE 2008, over 87% of the university's research was deemed to be of international standing. Areas of particular research strength recognised include meteorology and climate change, typography and graphic design, archaeology, philosophy, food biosciences, construction management, real estate and planning, as well as law.
  • Standards of teaching are excellent - the University scored highly in the National Student Survey 2009.  87% of Reading students responding to the survey stated they were satisfied with the quality of their course.
  • The University is estimated to contribute £600 million to the local economy annually.
  • University of Reading is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.
  • More information at

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