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Caesar chance to step back in time at Silchester Roman Town Open Days! – University of Reading

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Caesar chance to step back in time at Silchester Roman Town Open Days!

Release Date 11 July 2013

archaeologists excavating Silchester Roman Town

Experience life as a Roman in Britain in the first century AD at the annual free Open Days at Silchester Roman Town this summer.

On Saturday 20 July and Saturday 3 August the public have a wonderful opportunity to find out more about this fascinating site that the University of Reading's Department of Archaeology has been excavating and researching since 1997.

On both days, Silchester experts will be 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. Refreshments will be available throughout each day.

Professor Michael Fulford, Director of the Silchester Town Life Project, said: "Silchester is one of the best preserved Roman towns in Britain. One of the many highlights is standing in the renowned amphitheatre, where you will experience an eerie sense of what the atmosphere would have been like amongst the crowd as they watched gladiators go toe to toe.   

"The Open Days are always such fun and make a fabulous family day out. Visitors can enjoy learning about this wonderful archaeological site from our team of experts and the children can even have a go at excavation never know what they might find!"

The Silchester Town Life Project is both a training field school and a research excavation located in the heart of Calleva Atrebatum. Its overall aim is to trace the Iron Age origins, subsequent Roman development and eventual abandonment of one 'insula', or city block, of the town. It has now reached the 1st century AD and the period of the first generations of the Roman occupation of southern Britain. Considerable evidence of the underlying Iron Age settlement is beginning to emerge.

A new trench is looking for the remains of what the Victorian excavators thought was an early Roman bath house. 

Professor Fulford added: "We are currently working down using the trenches they dug as a window into the past. Did the Victorians get it right?"

This year the Silchester team is joining archaeologists from across the globe in taking part in the Day of Archaeology 2013. This project seeks to raise public awareness of the relevance and importance of archaeology to the modern world. Archaeologists working, studying or volunteering anywhere in the world will record their day and share it through text, images or video.

For six weeks every summer, archaeology students from Reading and enthusiasts from as far away as the US and Australia attend the Silchester Field School. During the Field School, which runs until Sunday 11 August, visitors are welcome to see the excavation in progress every day, except Fridays, between 10:00am and 5pm. Groups must book in advance.

The Open Days will run from 10:00am to 4:30pm. 

Visit the Silchester website for more information and directions >>>

The Silchester team also have a blog and are on Twitter and Facebook!

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