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SHARP Archaeology Festival

Inside the marquee during the 2022 Archaeology Festival

Each year SHARP holds a one-day public event. Prior to 2019 it was referred to as the Open Day, but in 2019 the name changed to the SHARP Archaeology Festival to make it more appealing to families and the public. The nature of the event has not changed however, it provides SHARP with an opportunity to share what we have learnt about the history of Sedgeford through our investigations, with the public.

There is something for everyone on offer during the event. We have plenty of free family friendly activities such our teaching trench, activities for children, mini-battles, and historical hunt. For the adults we have demonstrations, displays, and our regular tours of the excavation where you can hear about the latest discoveries from the archaeologists digging on the site. We have an onsite café that will serve drinks, homemade cakes, and refreshments. Entry on to the field is free, and many of the activities are also included for free too making it a cheap day out for all. We charge for parking as this has to cover the costs of the hiring the field we use. One of the other aims of the day is to do a bit of fundraising for the project, so as well as our merchandise on sale, we have fun raffles and tombola’s, and donation buckets on site for general donations.

Last year, the festival was the day before the national heat wave that closed most of the county, and by the afternoon everyone was feeling the heat. Even so we had plenty of visitors on site in the morning and we managed to raise c. £700 during the day for SHARP. This money goes towards our excavation work, post-ex programmes, and helps keep SHARP affordable for all.

Make an Anglo-Saxon pot and have an ice lolly to keep cool!

This year the festival will be on Sunday 23rd July 2023. We will be offering a range of interactive experimental crafts and techniques based on the finds from SHARP and the local areas around. See how our Neolithic ancestors used nettles to create cord and have a go at the ancient art of nalbinding; try your hand at making an Anglo-Saxon pot, doing some tablet weaving, or making twisted wire jewellery.

Re-enact famous battles like Boudica vs the Romans

Dress up as an Anglo Saxon or Iron Age person and decorate a sword and shield to take a fab photo of yourself to share on our social media pages. See how people use antler and bone to create tools and try your hand at the building technique of wattle and daub, or use clay paints to make a runic nameplate. There will also be chance to help make artwork and models for our timeline banner and 3D model of the site.

There may be a small charge to cover materials for some of these activities, but many of the favourites such as the site tours, trench for kids, historical character hunt, and mini drill battles will all be free.

We do hope to see you there!


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