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Sense of Community: Our Exhibition

Posted on 5 June 2015

First-year undergraduate students from the Department invite the public to attend their innovative end-of-year exhibition

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Our open exhibition will be held in K/G60 at King’s Manor, on Thursday 11th June, 4 - 6pm. It brings together the experiences of excavating prehistoric and historic Yorkshire through digital interpretation.

During the most recent academic term, new students to the Department have been engaged in 9 weeks of archaeological excavation, taking their classroom knowledge into the field for the first time. Our year-end exhibition showcases the students’ involvement in uncovering new material evidence about the past, applying new techniques, developing their interpretive skills in relation to the sites of Breary Banks and Star Carr, and creating a practical foundation which will undoubtedly stay with them throughout their degrees and beyond.

The Head of the Department, John Schofield, explains this; “through their on-site experiences, students are exposed to all elements of archaeological fieldwork, from recording and digging to interactive exhibition of their findings. In so doing, they are developing their understandings of what it means to be an archaeologist - exploring the variety of opportunities open to them and the diverse skillsets that they can carry with them into the future. We are, as ever, incredibly proud of their progress and accomplishments, which will be on display for all to see in our 11th of June year-end public exhibition.”

The exhibition features 16 digital heritage panels: multisensory experiences combining audio, video and touch. The production of these panels enabled our students to think about their audience - children, adults, university students, etc. - and relevant content, which ranges from presenting facts and finds related to Star Carr and Breary Banks, to unique multimedia stories, diaries, games and films (including a Big Brother-style production). In doing such work, students grapple not only with the traditional on-site excavation experience, but with the larger processes of devising imaginative and rigorous analyses of their data.

Alongside these 16 panels, the Department has been involving students in the creation of different, more immersive, multisensory and immediate forms of on-site heritage interpretation via training in mobile app development. The BA in Archaeology and Heritage cohort has been engaged in coding and deploying a mobile application specific to the site of Breary Banks in conjunction with the Nidderdale First World War Centenary Project. The app acts as an audio guide for the site, complimenting other media that are being developed by the Nidderdale team. By blogging about the progress of using new software and experiencing the everyday life of working within the heritage sector, the undergrad cohort has been able to see first-hand the demanding - yet exciting - nature of presenting our heritage to the public.

To get a sense of how the Heritage Practice module and its mobile app have developed this year, please have a read through the cohort’s blog:

The students this year have contributed a great deal of talent and time to make sure ‘Sense of Community’ provides a welcoming and enjoyable opportunity for you to experience their evolution as professional archaeologists and heritage practitioners. Come along and see how we’ve recaptured the communities of Yorkshire on Thursday 11th June in K/G60 at King’s Manor, York, 4 - 6pm.