Sunday, March 22, 2009

Salisbury Cathedral Exhibition

Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire, England, will be holding an exhibition from May to October this year to showcase the recent archaeological discoveries made by Wessex Archaeology and the Time Team television show.

Salisbury Cathedral was founded in 1220, and the main building was completed within 50 years of the foundation, and the tower and spire, added later, were complete by 1320.

The archaeological dig, conducted in 2008, explored an area next to the cathedral walls, plus the site of its original bell tower. They uncovered the foundations of the Bell Tower, the remains of contemporary workshops which may have belonged to the craftsmen working on the Cathedral building, and four graves.

“To do a dig here was a once in a lifetime experience,” said archaeologist Phil Harding in the Salisbury Journal. “What we found underlines what incredible engineers and geologists those original builders were.”

David Coulthard, marketing director for the cathedral, said “It was wonderful for us to host the Time Team and a real bonus that we are able to continue to work with them, and with Wessex Archaeology who provide the behind-the-scenes archaeology team, to stage this exhibition. Time Team is a hugely popular programme with a great following and the dig really caused a stir with hundreds of people coming along to the cathedral as word got out that the ‘team’ were busy at work here. And when the programme was broadcast recently it showed how much they managed to uncover about a fascinating period of the cathedral’s history.”

The exhibition features artefacts, photographs, and audio visual material from the programme, which was shown in February, and is located in the cathedral cloisters. There is also an ‘archaeology for beginners’ section giving an insight into the working methods and tools used by modern archaeologists. The exhibition runs from May 1 to October 31.