The annual Cambridge Festival of Ideas includes a wide range of talks, tours, exhibitions, performances and hands-on activities in and around the city for members of the public from 20th October – 2nd November 2014. Alongside this year’s Festival and its theme of ‘identity’, the Museums of Cambridge will also present Curating Cambridge: our city, our stories, our stuff; a cultural celebration of the city’s people, stories and objects bringing the Museum’s collections to the wider community. As part of the Festival, Access Cambridge Archaeology (ACA), along with other University archaeological organisations including the Division of Archaeology and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, will be examining how outreach initiatives enable people to explore the past around them, learning more about themselves in the process as well as the identities of other people across time and space.
On Wednesday 22nd October, ACA’s Director, Dr Carenza Lewis, will be delivering a public lecture titled “From Time Team to Archaeology for All“, in which she will recall the highlights and legacies of her outreach work with over the the last ten years, which has involved thousands of members of the public in making inspirational discoveries advancing knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of the past. The talk will be in Room 3 at the Mill Lane Lecture Rooms from 6:30-7:45pm and places must be booked in advance. Priority booking is available on Event Brite here until 22nd September 2014. If places are still available after this date, they can be booked on the Cambridge Festival of Ideas website here.
The Division of Archaeology will also be hosting its annual Prehistory Day at the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, on Storey’s Way on Saturday 25th October between 10:30am-4pm. This drop-in family-friendly event will bring the past to life for visitors who will have the chance to be experimental archaeologists for the day and try hunting with a spear thrower, making their own rock art and see how metal was smelted during the Bronze Age.
Curators at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA) will be leading a couple of talks called Unearthing Cambridge which will discover the city’s hidden past through objects on display in their Cambridge Archaeology Gallery. The two lunchtime talks do not require booking and will take place from 1-1:30pm on Friday 24th and Friday 31st October. While visiting MAA, why not also visit the first museum exhibition of Tibetan material in Cambridge, Buddha’s Word: the life of books in Tibet and beyond which is open everyday, except Mondays, between 10:30am – 4:30pm.
For children, the Museum of Classical Archaeology has an afternoon drop-in activity during the Festival called Lightning bolts, owls and flying sandals for 7-11 year olds to learn about the Greek Gods and even design their own on Tuesday 28th October from 2-5pm. The Museum’s self-led Cabinet of Curiosities: children’s trail will also be available during open hours from October until December.
Beyond the University, a community project to capture the history of Mill Road, which has long been a vibrant and diverse community in Cambridge, will be hosting an evening of presentations and discussion between 7:30-9:30pm on Thursday 23rd October called Mill Road history: an identity. This will be based on their Heritage Lottery Funded research recording personal and historical memories and documenting the built environment of Mill Road.
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