As always, a brilliantly organised and very well attended event.
Salisbury Archaeology Festival
Salisbury Museum held an Archaeology festival around their new Wessex Gallery. We were demonstrating wool crafts next to our good friends Ancient Music.
It was a very hot event, and many people were realising some of the drawbacks of what we imagine as traditional historical costume. It got us thinking about what people would have worn when the weather was so hot. It’s certainly possible that they only had a few light coverings of linen, to prevent sunburn while keeping as cool as possible.
We greatly enjoyed this event, there were very many interested people there, and many experts in their respective fields. We certainly enjoyed watching the other expert craftspeople plying their trades.
We were also featured on BBC Radio Wiltshire, while we were combing some wool. Listen below:
It was an honour to be invited to the last Silchester excavation open days. This Roman and Prehistoric excavation is a fantastic place for us to show some of the textile production techniques available to those people. We brought back the warp-weighted loom which we built for this event last year, and the students were very appreciative of an example of how the archaeology they were finding would have been used. We also modelled our new loom weights on finds from Silchester and Salisbury Museum.
Also many thanks to Kevin Standage Photograhy for giving us use of photos from his Silchester series.
We were honoured to be invited to Silchester for both of their Archaeological open days in July and August.
Silchester is a Roman town in Hampshire, which has been excavated for the last 17 years by Reading University. They have discovered both the layout of the town and the Iron Age settlement which was there before.
At the first open day we took our new quern stones, as well as some grain, and helped the visitors use them to make flour. We ground all the grain we took in just the morning, the stones never stopped turning. It was brilliant to see the opportunities families took to educate children about the origins of bread they eat every day. The archaeologists were also exhibiting a Roman quern from Verulamium (St. Albans), and having ours for demonstration really brought it to life for the visitors.
Before the second open day, we made a replica of an Iron Age warp-weighted loom. We set it up and started weaving at the open day, demonstrating how it worked. This helped to put the finds of loom weights into context for both the public and the students.