Over the last month, more and more museums and heritage sites have begun to welcome back visitors, while a huge variety of online resources from around the world offer yet more ways to get involved from home. Amy Brunskill has put together another selection of archaeology-related activities and resources that you can enjoy from your sofa, and places you can visit in person.

Virtual visits

With so many wonderful museums and heritage sites now accessible online, you are sure to find somewhere to visit virtually, whether you are interested in taking a journey on London’s old underground postal railway, looking around the Louvre, or learning about Athens’ Acropolis.

MUSEUMS

Museum of Ethnology & Museum of Popular Art, Lisbon
https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/museum-of-ethnology-museum-of-popular-art
Explore Portugal’s national ethnological museum, with artefacts from more than 80 countries, as well as many examples of Portuguese art and artefacts.

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
https://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/onlineresources
Enjoy a selection of online exhibitions or delve into the wide variety of artefacts in the collections, from coins and medals to illuminated manuscripts.

CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons, Pedro Szekely

Louvre Museum, Paris
https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne
Take a virtual visit to some of the museum’s galleries and exhibition rooms, including the Egyptian Antiquities collection and the remains of the Louvre’s moat.

Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, Xi’an
http://39.104.142.130/html/public/zl/500yvr/bc726d2972a949c180c4f85216e6c5ea.html
Walk among the famous Terracotta Army, buried with the First Emperor of China in the late 3rd century BC, and examine the warriors in detail with this 360⁰ panorama.

The Postal Museum
https://www.postalmuseum.org/make-a-connection/mail-rail-from-home/
Experience a virtual journey on the Mail Rail, London’s 100-year-old postal railway, running deep under the streets of the city. It is now part of the Postal Museum.

Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKxsDuqoqsk
Discover some of the highlights of the exhibition, which displayed more than 150 original objects from Tutankhamun’s tomb, with a short taster video tour from its London location.

HERITAGE/ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES

Palmyra, Syria
www.kaemena360.com/360/PalmyraTour
Visit the ruins of the ancient city, an important cultural centre in the 1st and 2nd century AD, with a 360 ° tour that was created in 2006, before the destruction of much of the site.

CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons, Jebulon

Acropolis, Athens
http://www.acropolisvirtualtour.gr/
Take a virtual tour around the citadel’s most prominent monuments: the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike.

Cadw Open Doors Online, Wales
https://cadw.gov.wales/visit/whats-on/cadws-open-doors-online
Enjoy digital experiences from the historic sites of Wales, with weekly themed packages released across September, including ‘Neolithic Tombs’, ‘Castles of the South’, and ‘Abbeys and Ironworks

Tomb of Meresankh III, Giza
https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=d42fuVA21To
Explore a 3D model of the beautifully decorated and well-preserved Tomb of Queen Meresankh III, which lies in the shadow of the Great Pyramid.

The Becket Story, Canterbury
http://www.thebecketstory.org.uk/canterbury/visiting-cathedral
See how the four main sites associated with Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral may have looked to pilgrims visiting in 1408 in these short reconstruction videos.

Göbekli Tepe, Turkey
https://artsandculture.google.com/story/g%C3%B6bekli-tepe/OALyoXJ7tDcpLA
Learn about one of the world’s oldest archaeological ruins, and explore the architectural remains and artefacts discovered there.

DigVentures
www.youtube.com/watch?v=YauJMJKH6jc
Take a walk around DigVentures’ excavation of one of the earliest Roman settlements ever discovered in East Yorkshire.


Learning in lockdown

Take advantage of the huge variety of resources available online to expand your knowledge about an area of archaeology, heritage, or history that catches your eye, whether that’s a conference about the archaeology of islands, a podcast that goes behind the scenes at a museum, or a Twitter-tour of a necropolis.

EVENTS AND EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

Land, Sea and Sky: the archaeology of coasts and islands
https://archaeologyireland.ie/
Register for the annual National Monuments Service conference, which will be held online this year, with a programme of lectures looking at the connections between islands and mainlands.

CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons, Mike Peel;

Egyptology in Lockdown
https://www.mmfromhome.com/egyptology-in-lockdown
Join Dr Campbell Price, Manchester Museum’s Curator of Egypt and Sudan, for a live discussion of important objects in the museum’s collection every week, or catch up on previous episodes.

Prehistoric Activity at Torrs and Carlingwark
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/prehistoric-activity-at-torrs-and-carlingwark-tickets-117620095873?aff=erelpanelorg
Find out about the archaeology of the lochs and bogs that once surrounded Castle Douglas in this online lecture by Dr Fraser Hunter and Dr Michael Stratigos.

Ancient Rome Live
https://ancientromelive.org/
Sign up for a programme of free online lectures about ancient Rome this autumn, or browse the existing seminar videos available online.

Curator’s Corner
www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL0LQM0SAx601_99m2E2NPsm62pKoSCnV5
Discover what it’s like to work with objects in the British Museum’s collections from the curators themselves, with stories about everything from 18th-century hot-air balloon tickets to ancient Egyptian fashion.

PODCASTS AND RADIO
CREDIT: Gareth James

Outliers: stories from the edge of history
https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/outliers-stories-from-the-edge-of-history/id1310165230
Enjoy this historical fiction podcast from Historic Royal Palaces, which examines significant events through the eyes of characters who have traditionally been confined to the shadows.

The Empty Cases
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000lyyd
Explore the discussions taking place among Britain’s curators about how we represent Britain’s historical moments, and which objects are acceptable for display in museums in 2020.

Amplify Archaeology
https://www.abartaheritage.ie/amplify-archaeology-podcast/
Listen to a series of interviews with some of Ireland’s archaeologists and specialists, and learn from them about the key discoveries and techniques that help us understand Irish archaeology.

HMSC Connects! Podcast
https://hmsc.harvard.edu/podcast
Go behind the scenes of Harvard’s Museums of Science and Culture and meet the researchers, collection keepers, exhibit designers, and other individuals who keep the university’s museums running.

You’re Dead to Me
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07mdbhg/episodes/downloads
Join Greg Jenner and a variety of comedians for this BBC podcast, which brings a wide selection of stories from the past to life in an entertaining way.

BLOGS AND SOCIAL MEDIA
CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons, TomZoy

Glasgow Necropolis
https://twitter.com/womenslibrary/status/1297858881121595396
Take a virtual tour of monuments in Glasgow Necropolis in this Twitter thread by one of the Women’s History guides from Glasgow Women’s Library.

Historic Royal Palaces
www.instagram.com/historicroyalpalaces
Enjoy games and resources like ‘Who said it: Queen Victoria or Victoria Beckham?’ and ‘Sir Walter Raleigh’s top tips for avoiding isolation boredom’ on HRP’s Instagram stories.

British Museum
https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=1006477163114306&ref=watch_permalink
Take a look around the newly reopened British Museum with a video tour released live on Facebook to welcome back visitors.

#ironworkthursday
https://twitter.com/hashtag/ironworkthursday
Browse Twitter every Thursday for pictures of people’s favourite examples of ironwork, which range from old church gates to 19th-century cannons.

Victoria & Albert Museum
www.vam.ac.uk/blog
Explore a wide selection of blog posts with updates from behind the scenes at the museum and discussions of objects in the V&A’s collections.


Family fun

If you’re looking for fun and educational ways to entertain the whole family, look no further! Here you can find a selection of activities, from online games about the Roman Baths to jigsaws of famous paintings, and TV shows covering subjects from Stonehenge to Pompeii.

CRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES

Roman Baths
www.romanbaths.co.uk/online-games
Learn about Roman life through the Baths’ online games, create your own Roman coin to add to the virtual hoard, or play Roman numeral bingo.

Historic Royal Palaces
https://twitter.com/HRP_palaces/status/ 1299309101474820096
Follow the choose-your-own-adventure Twitter thread to find out whether you could survive your first day working as Page of the Cellar at Hampton Court Palace in 1537.

Hyde 900
www.hyde900.org.uk/resources/activity-package-july-2020/
Find several activity packs created to celebrate Hyde in Winchester, including ideas like creating an archaeological treasure map or designing a new Hyde Abbey for the 21st century.

Archaeology Games
http://planeta42.com/archeology/
Enjoy archaeology-themed online games including ‘Coin Match’, ‘Dig for Weapons’, ‘Inca Treasure’, and ‘Skulls Puzzle’.

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CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons, Guillaume 1995

Royal Museums Greenwich
www.rmg.co.uk/family-activities
Explore the museum’s family activities and learn how to make a ship in a bottle or a stained-glass window, colour in the Armada Portrait, or embroider the figurehead of the Cutty Sark.

Barnsley Museums Jigsaw
www.jigsawplanet.com/BarnsleyMuseums
Join in with the daily jigsaw challenges and try to put together the portraits of historical figures, or photographs and paintings of buildings and landscapes.

TV SHOWS

The Flying Archaeologist
www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01s1ll4/ the-flying-archaeologist-1-stonehenge
Learn about how aerial surveys of the Stonehenge landscape led to new information about the monument and its use; now available on BBC iPlayer again.

CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons, Francisco Anzola

Secrets of Egypt’s Valley of the Kings
www.channel4.com/programmes/ secrets-of-egypts-valley-of-the-kings
Follow an international team of Egyptologists as they explore the rich archaeology of the Valley of the Kings.

Treasures of Ancient Ulster
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03ycspm
Explore the treasures of ancient Ulster, discover how the ancient province came to be, and learn about the lives of its occupants.

Fact or Fiction
www.channel4.com/programmes/fact-or-fiction/episode-guide
Join Tony Robinson as he uncovers the real stories behind some of history’s best-known figures, including Boudica, Robin Hood, and King Harold.

Pompeii: the new revelations
www.channel5.com/show/pompeii-the-new-revelations
Discover new information about the Roman city in this documentary, which offers special access to recent excavations.

Britain’s Biggest Dig
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000mmrd
Find out about the forgotten stories of the rich and poor in Georgian London with the excavation of a huge cemetery in advance of the construction of HS2.


Open Again

As of this month, many more museums and heritage sites are open to visitors again. Take a look at this section to discover some more of the places that you can now visit in person, and the measures that they have put in place for everyone’s safety.

MUSEUMS
CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons, Shadowssettle

Science Museum
www.sciencemuseum. org.uk/visit
The Science Museum has reopened to visitors, with the exception of a few of the most highly interactive spaces. Free tickets must be booked in advance.

Ashmolean Museum
www.ashmolean.org/plan-your-visit
The museum has reopened its permanent galleries to visitors, as well as the Young Rembrandt exhibition, which has been extended until November. Tickets to both the museum and exhibition must be pre-booked.

The People’s History Museum
https://phm.org.uk/visit/register-to-visit-reopening-information/
The PHM in Manchester has reopened its two main galleries, the 2020 Banner Exhibition, and a recently installed digital activity. Visitors must register for timed entry.

National Museums Wales
https://museum.wales/
Booking sites for all seven of NMW’s museums are now live, with the museums open to differing degrees and on differing weekly schedules. Please check individual websites for details.

Havering Hoard
www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london-docklands/ whats-on/exhibitions/havering-hoard-bronze-age-mystery
This new exhibition about an enigmatic late Bronze Age hoard (see p.18) is now open. Entry is included with free general admission tickets to the Museum of London Docklands.

HERITAGE/ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES

National Trust Scotland
www.nts.org.uk/stories/our-plans-for-re-opening-properties
More than 40 NTS sites are now open to visitors again, including the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, the Hill House, and many castle gardens and grounds.

Stonehenge
www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/stonehenge/
The stone circle, exhibition, and visitor centre are all open, with limits on visitor numbers and a circular route to the stones and back introduced. Tickets must be pre-booked.

CREDIT: Stephen Branley

Historic Environment Scotland
www.historicenvironment.scot/reopening
More sites have reopened across Scotland in September, including Fort George, St Andrews Cathedral, and Jedburgh Abbey.

National Trust
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/how-to-book-your-visit-and-what-to-expect
More than 135 gardens and parks and 28 houses across England and Northern Ireland are now open again, in addition to hundreds of coastal and countryside places.

Fishbourne Roman Palace
https://sussexpast.co.uk/properties-to-discover/ fishbourne-roman-palace
The Roman palace and gardens are now open to visitors several days a week. Tickets are required, but pre-booking is not essential.


Even more ideas
You can find more ways to explore the past from your armchair on a new page of our website: www.archaeology.co.uk/heritage-from-home.


This article appeared in CA 368. To find out more about subscribing to the magazine, click here.

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