The Reading Young Archaeologists’ Club (Reading YAC) launched in January 2016 – and in just 18 months has already had a tangible impact on participants and researchers alike.
Set up by Gemma Watson and Emma Durham from the Department of Archaeology, and Charlotte Williams, of the Classics department’s Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, the club engages children and young people with archaeology and classics. Its membership consists of children ranging from eight to 15, who meet to learn about everything from ancient music and life in medieval Britain, to making prehistoric pottery, designing Roman mosaics and flint-knapping. Children with learning disabilities are among those who regularly attend Reading YAC, which is based at the Ure Museum and run by members of the museum staff, as well as staff and volunteers from the Archaeology and Classics departments. Meetings are each shaped around a different staff or postgraduate students’ research project, and feedback from parents has been universally positive, not least after children attended the Archaeology department’s research excavations. For many, this was their first experience of an archaeological dig, an experience that shows them the skills needed and which, in turn, may one day help create the next generation of archaeologists.
Shortlisted for the University Research Engagement and Impact Awards 2017
First published: June 2017