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SCIENCE WEEK EVENTS 11-20th March 2011 Sheffield and York

posted 27 Feb 2011, 05:29 by Paul Brayford   [ updated 1 Feb 2016, 15:14 ]
Dept of Archaeology , University of Sheffield

This year The Department of Archaeology is celebrating Science Week by opening its doors and inviting the public to a series of lectures and workshops. There will be opportunities to hear about world famous archaeological projects, talk with archaeologists, and to examine genuine archaeological material yourself. The theme for Science Week is "Communication" and archaeologists will be exploring how everything from the animals we keep to our own bones communicate something about being human.

Entrance is free. To reserve a place please email Dr Roger Doonan at

14 March 19:00- 20:30 Conversing with plants: Farming and Foraging in prehistory

Farming has been the single activity that has most united humanity over the last 10,000 yrs. It is therefore not surprising that activities associated with food production have been central in human communication.

This lecture and workshop looks at how archaeologists and archaeobotanists have investigated humans´ relations with plants in changing environments.

Lecture followed by workshop with opportunities to examine archaeological material.

15 March 19:00- 20:30 From cave walls to Mobile Phones: The story of Humanity´s love affair with communicating

Humans are social creatures and therefore NEED to communicate. We are all familiar with speaking to other humans but we communicate in all sorts of ways. This lecture and workshop looks at some of the more peculiar `things´ that humans have used for communication.

Lecture followed by workshop with opportunities to handle archaeological material.

16 March 19:00- 20:30 Talking to the animals

Humans have long had close relationships with other members of the animal kingdom. We will show you the sort of evidence `zooarchaeologists´ use to investigate whether animals were hunted or herded, and were raised for their meat or for products such as milk or wool. We will also examine how ancient animal bones may complement or contradict written sources and so alter our understanding of human history. 

Lecture followed by workshop with opportunities to handle archaeological material.

17 March 19:00- 20:30 Speaking with the dead: Bones, Bodies and Burials

Archaeologists and osteologists have developed an impressive array of techniques for bringing bones back to life. This talk and workshop explores the world of human osteoarchaeology, revealing the evidence and methods by which archaeologists and anthropologists reconstruct the lives of past peoples.

Lecture followed by workshop with opportunities to handle archaeological material.

Yorkshire Museum, York

14 March 09:00 - 11:00 Forensic Science: Who Were You?

A skeleton has been found in the Museum Gardens. The pupils become forensic scientists to investigate the evidence to find out who that person was: a Roman child? a Viking warrior? or a Medieval monk? The groups will undertake a number of scientific and archaeological investigations to determine the gender, age and means of death of the skeleton. Look out for the red herrings too! Pupils have the chance to handle real artefacts and examine real human remains. 

18 March 09:00 - 10:30 Dynamic Digestion: Poo Through Time

Pupils will learn about the digestive system through a series of interactive presentations: how does food enter the digestive system, and what processes does it go through before emerging in the form of a “poo”? The class will investigate what the Romans, Vikings and people of Medieval York ate by examining artificial poo samples for traces of food. How do their diets compare with ours today?

19 March Modern to Medieval: Tracing Your Ancestors

Jackie Depelle, Dr Simon Hughes and Dr Phillipa Hoskins lead us through the documents and information we find on the journey of tracing our ancestors. During the day there will be guided tours of the medieval gallery with a curator from the Yorkshire Museum.
Two sessions running 10.30am – 12.30pm and 2.00pm – 4.00pm.

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