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Archaeological finds bring past to life

26 October 2009

Archaeological finds from Cardiff University’s excavations at a south Wales site will be on show to members of the public during half term (26-30 October 2009).

Visitors to Cosmeston Medieval Village in Penarth will be able to see some of the artefacts recovered during an excavation of the remains of a medieval manor house at the site.

Earlier this year a team of archaeologists from the University worked alongside community volunteers to discover more about the manor house, known as Cosmeston Castle, and its relationship with the surrounding area.

Their excavations revealed substantial features of the manor house and an interesting range of artefacts. The finds will help inform the team about how people may have lived and worked at Cosmeston. It will also help shape future investigations at the site.

Specific artefacts recovered during the dig include a fragment of a slate ‘Nine Men’s Morris’ board game, a bone gaming counter, medieval metal dress fastenings, a wide range of pottery dating from the 12th century onwards, including vessel fragments and cooking pots, glass fragments and artefacts, animal bone and sea shells.

Jane Stewart, Community Archaeologist at the University and project officer for the Cosmeston excavations said: "Visitors to Cosmeston during half term will be able to see medieval pottery - some of it more than 700 years old - and other artefacts from the summer dig being washed and packed ready for transport to the University. It’s an opportunity for people find out about local history and to learn about the past through hands-on activities."

The archaeology team will be on site at Cosmeston between 11am-3pm daily. The event is free and takes place in the Village museum. Tickets for tours of the Medieval Village are available from the park Visitor Centre.

1. Cardiff School of History and Archaeology
The School of History and Archaeology carries out teaching and research in four main areas: History and Welsh History; Ancient History; Archaeology; and Archaeology Conservation.
History and Welsh History offers a broad survey of the main aspects from the medieval period to the twentieth century. Areas of expertise include: Medieval England, the Crusades, military religious orders; early modern England and Wales; early modern Spain; and modern Indian historiography and gender history. The broad area of Europe and the British Empire in the Twentieth Century encompasses such research themes as: modern Germany; biological racism and ethics; the Right in France; and the Wilson era in British politics. Areas of expertise in Welsh history include early modern Wales; the gentry; industrialisation; popular culture and Welsh emigration/dispersal (with particular reference to North America)
Ancient History focuses on the social and economic history of the ancient world, with particular emphasis on: warrior elites; warfare and the formation; organisation and social effects of armies; violence and its control inside ancient societies; issues of identity, especially gender history and ethnicity; and slavery and other systems of labour and land exploitation.
Archaeology offers expertise in two main areas: the archaeology of Britain, Europe and the Mediterranean 5000BC-1000AD; and studies in ancient technology and the analysis of materials and conservation science.
The Archaeology Conservation degree scheme offered by the School is one of only two such undergraduate courses in Britain. It attracts conservation commissions from throughout the UK, giving students valuable hands-on experience. The teaching of Ancient History and Archaeology was assessed as "Excellent" in the recent national assessment of teaching quality in UK universities.

2. Cardiff University
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Professor Sir Martin Evans.

Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning.

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Victoria Dando
Public Relations
Cardiff University
Tel: 02920 879074