We have all had to adapt our personal and working lives to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns of 2020. In archaeology, whilst most community fieldwork has been suspended and professional archaeology fieldwork has been hidden from immediate view due to COVID restrictions, individuals, groups (such as the CBA and DigVentures), and field units (such as Wessex Archaeology) have found new ways to bring their archaeological research to an online audience, as well as undertaking COVID-safe fieldwork.
Normally, the Greater Manchester Archaeology Federation and the Greater Manchester Archaeological Advisory Service stage two events each year: the Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival in June and the Greater Manchester Archaeology Day in November. Neither have been possible in 2020.
So, for 2020 the Greater Manchester Archaeology Festival has gone online. Working with Norman Redhead, Nigel Linge, and friends from across the GM Archaeology Federation and at Salford Archaeology we have put together a collection of download material capturing the archaeology of Greater Manchester in 2020: books, site information panels, video talks, and podcasts (more on the latter in the next blog).
Greater Manchester’s Past Revealed Downloads
Uploaded across the weekend of the 12 and 13 December the first batch of digital media includes digital copies of many of the archaeology information panels to be found across the city region, and digital copies of the latest NINE Greater Manchester’s Past Revealed booklets (volumes 19 to 27).
These nine volumes cover the 19th century chapel at Upper Brook Street in Manchester; the late medieval and post-medieval Stayley Hall in Tameside; Woodford Aerodrome in Stockport; work around Castle Irwell in Salford; rural upland weaver settlements at Kingsway in Rochdale; prehistoric and medieval settlement at Cutacre in Wigan; Roman and industrial archaeology at Deansgate Square in Manchester; the prehistoric and post-medieval archaeology of the Manchester Airport Relief Road; and further investigation of the heart of medieval and industrial Salford. These can be download for FREE by following the link below:
GM Archaeology Day Talks for 2020
Our second digital offering is a set of three video talks for Greater Manchester Archaeology Day 2020. This year’s keynote talk is given by Professor Nigel Linge from the University of Salford. Nigel reviews the industrial archaeology of the smart phone. A product of the 21st century, the smart phone with its camera has radically changed our personal and working lives since the first version was launched in 2003. The personal aspect of this technology has been particularly prominent in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic leading to national lockdowns and periods of individual isolation.
Norman Redhead provides his usual annual round-up of archaeological fieldwork and research across Greater Manchester in 2020. Despite the pandemic, professional archaeology work has continued since the construction sector remained active throughout the various lockdowns. 2020 proved to be a very busy year for archaeology, with major excavations once more in the centre of Manchester, including Roman archaeology beneath the abandoned railway arches on the eastern side of Deansgate, industrial workers housing on Longmillgate, and glassworks in Ancoats. Elsewhere, significant excavations were undertaken in Altrincham, Bury, Rochdale, and Stockport. December 2020 also saw the retirement from GMAAS of Dr Andy Myers after 11 years of work in archaeological development control in Greater Manchester. We wish him well.
Finally, I look at the conservation and community archaeology work in and around the Bridgewater Canal at Worsley over the last few years. This included the discovery of new tunnels and quays within Worsley Delph itself, one of the most iconic sites of the industrial revolution in Britain. I also review the community excavations at the canal and coal mine workshops on Worsley Green undertaken in 2018 and 2019 – a project suspended, like most community work, for 2020. Hopefully, I’ll be able to return to Worsley Green in 2021 with the continuing support of the Salford Archaeology and History Society, and the South Trafford Archaeological Group.
These talks can be download for FREE by following the link below: