Councillors given future insight into archaeological past
A number of York’s forty seven Councillors attended a private view of one of the country’s leading archaeological conservation laboratories on Monday night as part of an event to raise awareness of the significant importance of York’s archaeology and heritage.
The exclusive event, hosted by York Archaeological Trust to coincide with the quarterly York Archaeological Forum meeting, saw York’s elected representatives tour the Trust’s conservation lab and view a number of conservation projects both completed and ongoing, listened to the techniques used to conserve such delicate artefacts from multiple environments and discovered the innovative progression the Trust has demonstrated in conserving the past.
David Jennings, Chief Executive of York Archaeological Trust, says “The primary purpose of our conservation laboratory is the retrieving, preserving, revealing and recording the true nature of archaeological objects and materials. As one of the U.K.’s biggest archaeological organisations, York Archaeological Trust is able to do this through various services ranging from maritime conservation to forensics investigations.
“Events like this help archaeologists demonstrate that archaeology is not just about the excitement of excavating through the layers of time but how these discoveries are preserved for future generations to appreciate and made accessible to all.”
The York Archaeological Forum was established by the City of York Council in 1996 specifically to provide it with advice on archaeological and historic environment matters, and support the work of the City Archaeologist. Forum members are drawn from national and local institutions based in the city, including Historic England, the Council for British Archaeology, York University, York St John University, York Archaeological Trust and York Museums Trust. Members also include representatives of locally based community archaeology groups and individuals with specialist expertise and knowledge.
Patrick Ottaway, Chairman of York Archaeological forum, says “We believe that archaeology and the historic environment have a positive contribution to make to the life of the modern city in terms of giving its citizens a sense of identity and place, offering educational opportunities to people of all ages and abilities, and enhancing the offer to tourists (over 7 million visits per annum, bringing an income of about £450 million) who enjoy visiting the museums and archaeological digs as well as our Bar Walls, Minster and other ancient buildings.
Also included in the tour was a visit of the Trust’s finds processing room, with the event ending with a tour around JORVIK Viking Centre, where much of the Trust’s research into the past has helped to create a ground-breaking, innovative visitor attraction based on archaeological best practice.