As we have done for several
years, the Friends again funded National Archaeology Day in July. Both
Gavin and the committee feel that this co-operation between museum staff
and the Society is one of the best ways of using the Friends’ financial
resources when official funding is very limited. Interaction with the
public, particularly with children, is vital in maintaining and building
interest in the museum and increasing visitor numbers.
A warm, sunny day
enabled the “dig” to be a centre of enthusiasm for many hours. An area
of turf had been removed and planted with small objects. Staff from
Cambria explained the techniques for excavation: careful digging with
the trowel, gentle brushing when something came into sight and then
removal of the objects to a nearby area for identification and cleaning.
The seriousness with
which they went about their tasks was a joy to see and it was pleasing
that several had come last year and were still enjoying it.
took place throughout the day and it was gratifying to see adults, with
or without children, taking part. In the grounds children made pots and
dressed up as Romans. The quiz, as always, was an excellent way of
enabling young people to learn as they have fun. Colouring, both on
faces and on paper, was popular. In the library, a lecture by Charles
Hill, one of the Cambria staff, on the wooden castles of Wales was a
revelation to the chairman, who had no idea of the complexity of the
structures. Unfortunately she was not able to stay for the second
lecture, on the Bronze Age burial at Fan Foel.
A computer had been set
up in the main hall with access to Cambria’s records. This was of great
interest to young people and their parents, as can be seen in the
photograph. They were researching the archaeological sites in the
Llandyfaelog area— before being temporarily distracted by being given
copies of The Friend.
Archaeology Day was a
very worthwhile exercise. Not only did it bring history alive for the
relatively few lucky children who attended; it provided an opportunity
for some publicity for the work of the Friends. Almost everyone from the
morning session went away at least aware of our existence and with
copies of The Friend, some expressed an interest in our activities and
one or two said they would come to events in the autumn with a view to
joining. And everyone enjoyed themselves.