Salisbury Museum's Festival of Archaeology on 23rd and 24th July has a packed programme of demonstrations, hands on opportunities and talks by famous archaeologists.
The programme of talks runs over both days and covers everything from DNA to Vikings, along with a liberal sprinkling of Egyptology. This reflects both exciting developments in current archaeology and the British Museum Touring Exhibition on show at the museum.
Dr Turi King, famous for identifying Richard III's DNA opens the festival with a talk on her research into family history and genetics. To follow are two talks complimenting the British Museum's Touring Exhibition 'Writing for Eternity; Decoding Ancient Egypt', which is at the museum until 3 September. Professor Richard Parkinson from Oxford University discusses the archaeology of Ancient Egyptian poetry, followed by Dr Toby Wilkinson from Cambridge University who will use the latest archaeological discoveries to explore the rise and fall of Ancient Egypt. Saturday's talks are completed by Professor Vincent Gaffney whose work on the 'Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes' project last year caught the public's imagination and is set to hit the headlines again this summer as several digs are due to follow up the astonishing geophysical results that Professor Gaffney and his team revealed.
Sunday morning opens with a distinctly Time Team feel as Dr Henry Chapman's talk explains exactly what geophysics really is; how it has been used; and looks at its future in archaeology. All weekend Dr Phil Harding and finds expert Lorraine Mepham will be leading a demonstration dig in the festival showground. The dig is aimed at cutting away all the jargon of archaeology and showing visitors how methodical archaeology provides information on the past. This dig, which commences on Saturday, will be followed by a talk by Dr Harding and Lorraine Mepham on Sunday, talking through the dig process and illustrating with anecdotes from their career including 20 years in Time Team.