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Archaeology Week 2017

Archaeology Week at the Mary Rose Museum

Friday 21st July- Friday 28th July 2017

During the Festival of Archaeology 2017 the Mary Rose Museum welcome visitors to hear from archaeologists involved in the world’s largest underwater excavation and from the team working hard to preserve and display her in a unique and stunning museum.


The recovery of the Mary Rose was, and still remains, the largest underwater excavation ever carried out. It has now been 35 years since the Mary Rose was raised from the seabed in October 1982 viewed by an international television audience of 60 million.


As part of this special year of celebration for the Mary Rose Team we will be taking part in the 2017 Festival of Archaeology as one of over 1000 events happening throughout the country.


The Festival of Archaeology – coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) and in partnership with Historic England – encourages everyone to explore the archaeology of their local area, watch experts at work, and experience archaeology for themselves.


For many years the Museum has worked with the Young Archaeologists Club (YAC) offering free entry to the museum for members to come and explore the incredible collection. This is part of the Museum’s larger ethos to be at the forefront of learning about Tudor life, maritime archaeology and applied conservation science.


During one special week at the Mary Rose we will be engaging with visitors to present the remarkable story of the loss and recovery of the Mary Rose, focusing on the people involved and the skills needed to excavate, interpret and conserve her for future generations.


Through talks, special guests, hands on activities and workshops the museum team will engage visitors with this fascinating story and aim to inspire the young archaeologists of the future.

Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd July – SEAHA Mobile Heritage Lab


We will welcome the SEAHA Mobile Heritage Lab which has access to scientific equipment from leading laboratories that participate in SEAHA including UCL, Oxford and Brighton. The purpose of the ‘Lab-on-Wheels’ is to make Heritage Science as accessible as possible, bringing the innovative science developed by SEAHA students to the places where it is most needed.


The equipment covers different areas of heritage science interest, such as environmental monitoring, imaging and chemical analysis. The SEAHA team will be supported by Conservators and staff from the Mary Rose Museum showing the Conservation processes used for the various materials recovered from the excavation.

Monday 24th to Friday 28th July – Archaeology Week

10:15 – 11:15 – Recovery and Revelation: The archaeology of the Mary Rose
(Half price during the Festival of Archaeology – only £5)

Support The Mary Rose Project

The recovery of the Mary Rose was a cultural and archaeological landmark, bringing underwater archaeology to an audience of 60 million TV viewers. Come and discover the archaeological story, from seabed to showcase. A huge feat of human endeavour, the Mary Rose project transformed our understanding of Tudor history, conservation and maritime archaeology.


This talk gives an informal insight into the work behind Mary Rose project, as well as offering the chance to explore further the science behind her recovery and interpretation using our microscopes and lab space. Places can be booked in advance through Eventbrite and are half price during Festival of Archaeology 2017


Talks are hosted in the Stavros Niarchos Learning Foundation centre from 10.15am – 11.15am


12:00 – 16:00Archaeology Skills Workshop for families in Laboratory

Recommended for children and families (6+) this hands on session will cover some of the basic skills used by archaeologists during the excavation and post excavation of archaeological material. Participants will learn about recovering material from wet and dry contexts, recording and interpreting finds and also about different Conservation techniques. Also in the Lab we will be using digital microscopes to compare sample materials and see them in high definition.

12:00 – 14:00 – Screenings of ‘The Mary Rose Revealed’ documentary in Classroom

We will be screening this excellent 15 minute documentary narrated by Historian Dan Snow on a loop throughout the 2 hour period giving visitors a chance to hear about the full ‘Shipwreck to Showcase’ story of the Mary Rose. 


12:00 – 14:00 – Experimental Archaeology (Weather Dependant) outside museum

Experimental Archaeology is one of the very practical methods of archaeological interpretation, which attempts to generate and test archaeological hypotheses. Hear from members of the Mary Rose team as they discuss aspects of experimental archaeology undertaken over the years to help interpret life on board the ship, such as the replica Tudor galley constructed in 1995.


14:00 – 15:00 – Meet the Mary Rose Divers in the Classroom

A wonderful opportunity to meet some of the key members of the teams involved in finding and raising the Mary Rose in the 1970s and 1980s, some of which are still key figures in the Trust today. You will have a chance to hear first-hand what it was like to excavate underwater and the challenges faced by the dive team.

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