Current Archaeology Live! 2012

Current Archaeology Live is an annual event hosted by Current Archaeology magazine. The event is now in it’s fifth year, and thanks to a competition held by the magazine, I was lucky enough to win a free ticket to this year’s event, held in the prestigious Senate House in London.

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  1. (This review originally appeared on Heritage Action's Heritage Journal)
  2. The two-day event comprised of four themed sessions per day, of three talks each. On the Friday this was followed by an Awards ceremony, and party. Due to domestic commitments, I was unable to attend the Saturday morning sessions. As an experiment, I decided to ‘live-tweet’ the sessions I attended to our Twitter feed, using the hash tag #calive2012. I found this hard going at times, but fun. Luckily, I wasn't the only one tweeting as Carly from the magazine was also on tweet duty.
  3. After some admin announcements and introductory remarks to an audience of some 3-400 people, the sessions kicked off:

  4. Session 1 – Stonehenge and Megalithic Monuments

    Professor Timothy Darvill opened with an interesting talk on “Stonehenge and Preseli: it’s only Rock ‘n Roll” in which he discussed the geology of the Preseli area, and compared this with the layout of the different types of stone used on Salisbury Plain. At the same time, the ‘glaciation’ theory of stone movement was scientifically and vehemently rebuked.

  5. Daniel Lee then gave a fascinating talk entitled “The past stares back: recent excavations at Banks and other Neolithic chambered tombs in Orkney”. He described the discovery of the tomb at Banks and the extensive work, sometimes in difficult environmental conditions, to uncover exactly what was there. This included otter sprait (poo!) at all levels of the excavation, showing the monument was possibly open to the elements for a considerable part of its usage.
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