LAARC VIP10:The Reunion

By adam corsini on 20 Jan 2012

The First Week of Our Archive’s 10 Year Celebrations

The Reunion of Alan & Cath

Followers of Rock & Pop music will be well aware that every few years a legendary group reforms. Over the past decade Pink Floyd, Cream, Blur, The Stone Roses & Take That all made impressive comebacks. Well today my blog friends, at 10.00 GMT, the Museum of London’s Archaeological Archive & Research Centre had not one but TWO of their very own legends reunite.

Today, Alan Thompson, LAARC’s Archaeological Records Officer when it opened in 2002, worked alongside his then colleague (and current LAARC archivist) Cath Maloney for the first time since retiring 9 years ago. And their reunion was all due to the second and perhaps even cooler reunion.

Archaeological Records Alan & Cath in action

Today, also at 10.00 GMT, Alan was reunited with the excavation GPO75 – 1975’s General Post Office excavations at Newgate Street – of which he was the site director. From 10am – 4pm, he and Cath were sharing their knowledge, experiences and indeed memeories of the site with museum visitors at our Archaeological Records table in Archaeology in Action. And our visitors (were you one?) loved it as they showed people the original documents that the team of archaeologists wrote on site, photos from the excavation, the various elements that go towards a publication, xrays of mysterious objects that were dug up and of course… the matrix…

Discovering the bones in the human skeleton Finding out about conservation techniques

And this was just one example of the awesome time we’ve been having this week as we continue to celebrate 10 years of our archaeological archive. On Tuesday, our volunteers from our Osteology section spoke to over 150 people about skeletons dug up from the site (for more follow this link – GPO75 SKELETONS ), whilst on Monday, archaeological conservators from both our museum and those studying at UCL shared their knowledge and expertise about how we preserve our archaeological material.

All three will be returning over the next 9 weeks; Conservation every Monday, Skeletons every Tuesday and the Archaeological Records every Friday – all from 10am – 4pm in Archaeology In Action. Find out more by visiting our website – EVENTS

Handling pottery in Archaeology in Action Finds Packing table - Day 1

As well as that our volunteers have been interacting with hundreds of visitors at our two other tables too. Also in Archaeology In Action, Volunteers have been working their way through boxes of pottery, animal bone and building material, improving the way they’re stored and their packaging whilst chatting to visitors. Best of all visitors can handle the material, literally coming into contact with the past.

Archaeology Exposed Our Archaeology Exposed table

Outside our London Before London gallery, you can also meet LAARC staff and volunteers and find out what it is that we actually do in an archaeological archive and why this needs to be done. You can handle some amazing artefacts, search for archaeology in any part of London, find out about some of our award winning projects and, should you get the urge, dress up as an archaeologist.

And the number one question that was being asked this week? How can we get involved? The answer is simple. Come along to a free Hands-On Archaeology workshop which takes place in our Clore Learning Centre each Monday, Tuesday & Friday from 3.15 – 4.15. If you’ve ever wanted to get your hands on real archaeology, this is your chance. The workshops allow you to learn about London’s archaeology by getting your hands on it and in the process you get to help us improve the way we store our collections! Check out these pictures from some of the sessions that have already taken place.

Visitors in the Hands-On Archaeology workshop Tuesday's Hands-On Archaeology Workshop

Visitors having successfully finished a box of pottery in the Hands-On Workshop

For more information about the Hands-On Archaeology sessions visit our events page – EVENTS.

We’ll be around every Monday, Tuesday & Friday for the next few weeks. Hope to see you soon!

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