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CONNECTING PEOPLE WITH THE PAST

Laure Bonner

Outreach and Communications Coordinator, Department of Archaeology

Archaeology is all about people, and the Department of Archaeology at Cambridge is dedicated to connecting the people of today with the people of the past. Our remit is huge, with researchers working on all continents in all time periods. Their studies focus on anything from the languages of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia to the latest technological advances in ancient DNA studies; from global cultural heritage issues to the Bronze Age Fenland landscape.

We run numerous outreach and public engagement activities throughout the year for multiple age groups and abilities. So, whether it’s mucking in with a bit of digging with the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, getting hands-on with the whole family at our Prehistory Day or Science in Archaeology Day, or attending any number of exhibitions, lectures and discussions throughout the year, we aim to be an open and accessible subject and Department for all.

This year, one of our highlight events at the Festival of Ideas is based on the ‘After the Plague: Health and History in Medieval Cambridge’ project. The project, funded by the Wellcome Trust, aims to learn more about health, life and death among the medieval urban poor in Cambridge, focusing on skeletal remains excavated at St John's Hospital cemetery.

What type of lifestyle did they lead? What diseases, health issues or injuries may they have had? Where did they come from? Techniques such as isotopic analysis, palaeopathology and aDNA studies can help us answer these questions. We are then using this information to attempt to recreate a few of these individuals using reenactors dotted around the city of Cambridge, where the real people would have lived, worked and died some 700 years ago. We hope this face-to-face encounter with medieval Cambridge helps inspire more people to connect with the past.

 

Related event

FACE TO FACE WITH MEDIVAL CAMBRIDGE

exhibition

MON 15 OCT - FRI 26 OCT

trail

SUN 21 OCT

 

HERITAGE IN AN AGE OF EXTREMES?

THU 18 OCT

 

PREHISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY DAY

SAT 20 OCT