On Saturday we participated in Bristol's Brilliant Archaeology, part of the nationwide Festival of Archaeology organised by the Council for British Archaeology. We sneaked a small pile of brochures on the exhibition stand of our friends at the Clifton Antiquarian Club and enjoyed a great turn out from local schools.
Bristol’s contribution to the Festival of Archaeology this year was “Bristol’s Brilliant Archaeology”, a spectacular day of history and archaeology at Blaise Castle Estate.
The Club had a stand in the Picture Room in the main house. Most appropriately the backdrop to our table was a “View of Bristol from Clifton Down” by W.J. Muller, painted in 1837.
Interestingly, another fine painting on the wall was donated by Alfred Rudd - an esteemed Clifton Antiquarian Club member, indeed one of the Club’s founders appointed Secretary in January 1884.
Our neighbours were our friends at the Bristol and Avon Archaeological Society, and opposite we found Chris Molan displaying her amazing paintings of Abona - Sea Mills. This again was most appropriate given our visit to Abona last week. Chris had a fantastic selection of Samian Ware, literally thought to have fallen off the back of a lorry, well, cart, on display
We also had a lovely selection of pottery, flint and coins on our stand ranging from the Neolithic to the Victorian for a bit of a artefact handling. And of course, we had our books on sale!
Most of the activity however took place outside and the weather was perfect. There were Romans on parade, Iron Age coin production, some geophysics, mini excavations and tours going on. We had spent the prior week visiting primary schools and persuading them to put flyers in book bags and in their e-newsletters and it was encouraging to see so many children participating, many of whom had blue “woad” decorating their faces. It was great to see a particularly good turnout from Brentry Primary School.
What a fantastic and inspirational day, we had many small visitors to our stand with ambitions to become archaeologists and historians. Huge thanks from the Clifton Antiquarian Club to Kate Isles and Gail Boyle at the Bristol Museum who organised this event, and thanks to the Museum and Council for British Archaeology for bringing the whole initiative to life. We are looking forward to next year.