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Community involvement: case study of the Iron Age roundhouse excavation

Monday, 10 June, 2013 to Friday, 21 June, 2013
Steve Burrow
Dr Oliver Davis, Caer Heritage Project, Cardiff University
Number of Participants / Visitors / Audience: 

St Fagans has always had a strong link with local and regional communities, and that link has been enhanced during the life of the OpenArch project thanks to the exchanges we've had with our European partners.

This has been exemplified over the years through projects that have included the views of source communities during the movement of historic buildings to the museum, through exhibitions geared around the work of refugee communities in the Cardiff area, and through consultations that have gathered the views of local people in our future building work. During the course of OpenArch we took the opportunity to extend our involvement with the local community in a new way.
In summer 2013, Cardiff University planned an excavation at a hillfort just a few miles from St Fagans in Caerau. A key value of this work was that it would be undertaken with the support of the local community. For this to happen, local people needed training opportunities to provide them with excavation skills. In early summer 2013, St Fagans provided these opportunities through the organisation of a training excavation on the site of our old Celtic Village. Over the course of two weeks we worked with volunteers to help them learn skills such as excavation, site recording, site planning, and use of a total station.

Several of the trainees involved in the work went on to participate in the Caerau excavation which, in turn, revealed a long and complex history for their local Iron Age site, extending its known history back a further three thousand years into the Neolithic.