Tuesday, April 20, 2010

York Archaeological Trust launches book about community archaeologists

The achievements of York's community archaeologists are being celebrated in a book being launched by York Archaeological Trust this week.

Hunting for History highlights the achievements of the Greater York Community Archaeology Project, created from the York Archaeological Forum, a meeting open to anyone involved or interested in the archaeology of York. Over the past five years, the Heritage Lottery Fund has supported a community archaeologist post in York, hosted by York Archaeological Trust, to increase archaeological activity within the local community.

The community archaeologist, Dr Jon Kenny, has helped York's community "history hunters" to enjoy, explore, record and conserve the archaeology of York and surrounding areas.

The book highlights some of the important finds made by community archaeologists including a rare 14th century gold coin, found while excavating a medieval rubbish pit at York Archaeological Trust's Hungate site, and a Neolithic polished stone axe found at Myton-on-Swale.

Dr Kenny explained, "Modern archaeology isn't just about digging holes in the ground in the hope of finding ancient remains; it's about everything from recording intriguing humps and bumps in fields to identifying ancient hedgerows; researching local history through old documents; the detailed surveying of existing buildings to uncover their real history; and recording living people's memories as oral history.

"It's been about local people making discoveries that mean something to them. Without these community archaeologists and local historians, the important finds might never have been made."

The York Archaeology Trust celebrated the book launch with an event at Jorvik Viking Centre on Monday for those who have been instrumental in the community projects.

The trust is an independent charity, founded in 1972, which investigates the past for the benefit of present communities and future generations. For more information or to find out how to obtain a copy of the book visit www.yorkarchaeology.co.uk or call 01904 663000.

Source: Community Newswire