Saturday 6th July 2013

Today was the Whitworth Park Open Day, with stalls in the park from the Friends of Whitworth Park, the Manchester Museum and the excavation itself. We had finds to handle and old photographs and images of postcards to peruse, as well as fascinating information about the work of the Friends and the hidden wildlife in the park. A biodiversity survey is helping us to identify and catalogue the insect, mammal and birdlife in the park, with expertise from the Museum’s Natural History curators. We also had a ‘Memory tent’ in which to interview people with memories of the park. Hourly site tours proved very popular, and the sun (as well events in the Art Gallery) helped ensure a steady stream of visitors to the excavation.

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Meanwhile on site we welcomed the ‘Young Archaeologists’ Club’ who are affiliated with the Manchester Museum. Some of these children came to dig with us in 2011, and were able to help newcomers learn about the park and its fascinating archaeology. We examined old maps and photos, before excavating together. A particular highlight of the day was the glass: some beautiful sherds of bottles with writing on them, which will help us identify their original use and contents. One ceramic sherd, possibly from a condiment jar, was also very distinctive. Here are some of the ‘star finds’ with their enthusiastic young archaeologists!

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It was a hot and busy day, but a very enjoyable one!

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