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Exploring Archaeology (XArch) Project
NEW - To continue to offer support to community groups undertaking their own archaeological based resarch the XArch Project has produced a Fieldwork Manual
What is the XArch Project?
The XArch project is a Heritage Lottery and University of Exeter funded project that provides archaeological support and knowledge transference through themed outreach programmes to communities and schools in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall.
The project provides archaeological support, training and assistance that encourages activity in areas where interest and awareness in landscape heritage is currently lacking. The training provided is based around the theme of landscape and settlements in both urban and rural environments. The XArch project also provides financial and technical support so that local projects can develop along lines, which produce sound results while encouraging a sense of local ownership. Thus, the XArch project empowers and supports community groups who wish to gain a greater understanding of their own past and become involved in their own “backyard” archaeology. Working with communities also puts XArch in a unique position between local knowledge and interest, and the academic world.
XArch also provides students and schoolchildren with educational workshops that integrate with the National Curriculum. The workshops are designed to raise awareness of the regions archaeological landscape heritage and advance interest in the archaeological sciences. The workshops are offered to schools targeting primarily the urban areas and are aimed at Key Stage Two, Years 5-6 and above up to and inclusive of College students.
Working with voluntary organisations, such as Exeter Volunteer Bureau, has enabled XArch to develop a programme of activities that included working with and encouraging interest from socially excluded members of society.
In addition, during 2006 and 2007, XArch supported two excavations, that were both research driven and community focused, at Stokenham, South Devon and Beer, East Devon. Both excavations openly encouraged members of the public, both old and young, to take part and work alongside students from Exeter University. During the excavations, public ‘Open Days’ were held where visitors had a site tour, saw some of the finds, flint knapping demonstrations and the use of surveying and geophysical equipment.
During the Spring of 2008, XArch supported two excavations instigated by the work of the Hartland Society and Brayford Community Archaeology Group in North Devon. Follow the 'Community Projects' link below to read more about the work of these two societies.
Follow the links below to read more about these two community excavations.
Follow this link for the full report of the excavation and geophyscial surveys undertaken at Welcombe Farm
Follow this link for the full report of the excavation and geophyscial surveys undertaken in Hartland
Follow the links below to find out more about our projects and educational workshops. All events and workshops are free, so if your community or school would like to be involved, then please contact the XArch project
Community Archaeology in South West England
Saturday 21st February 2009, University of Exeter
For follow this link for abstracts
Department of Archaeology, Laver Building, North Park Road, Exeter, Devon, UK EX4 4QE
The University of Exeter, The Queen’s Drive, Exeter, Devon, UK EX4 4QJ
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