Operation Nightingale/Project Florence

The Project Florence Road Show

The Project Florence road show went on tour this February. Visiting local venues to tell people about Op Nightingale and the Barrow Clump excavation, the team spoke to over 530 local residents.

812 Day 1 of the road show, at Amesbury Museum

Visitors were given the opportunity to handle replica Saxon artefacts, take part in several children’s activities and watch the Project Florence DVD Operation Nightingale: Time Warriors. Free copies of the DVD were given away, as were activity sheets and postcards showing images of the artefacts. The exhibition also featured a Saxon-style tapestry created by Salisbury residents at our Big Draw event and students at St Michael’s School, Figheldean.

813 One of the students from St Michael's spots his piece of artwork in the tapestry

Venues for the road show included local libraries, museums and community centres. Read Angus Forshaw’s blog about the Tedworth House road show by clicking here.

815 Day 4 of the road show, busy at Old Sarum

The exhibition has now gone to Wiltshire Museum and will be on display with the Barrow Clump artefacts between 16 March and 28 April.

Return to the Project Florence blog by clicking here.

Project Florence at Tedworth House

As we reach the end of the Project Florence road show Angus Forshaw, Community Archaeologist, describes our visit to Tedworth House for our blog readers:

The penultimate stop of our road show exhibition saw Laura, Steve and I visiting Tedworth House. Being one of four recovery centres run by Help for Heroes, Tedworth House is open to both serving and veteran members of the Armed Services who have suffered life changing injuries or illness whilst in service. It provides support through key parts of the recovery process, providing holistic care to our wounded service personnel.

After joining the residents for a cooked breakfast and a swift tour of the building we set up our stand ready to spread the word about Operation Nightingale and the excavations at Barrow Clump. It was great to see significant interest from the current residents, who may get the opportunity to get involved in this summer’s excavation on site. There was also a large amount of interest from staff, many of whom have seen the success of the project first-hand through working with soldiers who have already been involved.

787 Angus, Laura and Steve with the road show display at Tedworth House

Following a morning of show-casing our posters, DVD and Saxon replicas we were treated to a go on the Skiplex, an indoor ski simulator replicating a real piste built specifically to aid the recovery process. This proved incredibly entertaining and rewarding, with Laura and Steve falling over proving to be a personal highlight!

The day was a resounding success. It was great to see the benefits that the facilities at Tedworth House provide to injured members of the armed forces, as well as to receive so much interest in the Barrow Clump excavations and Operation Nightingale. We would like to thank everyone at Tedworth House for allowing us to set up our exhibition there for the day along with testing out some of the facilities first-hand, we all had a great day!

788 Steve, Laura and Angus on the Tedworth House Skiplex

For more information on Tedworth House and the brilliant work that they do visit the Help for Heroes website by clicking here.

To return to the main Project Florence blog click here.

Ancient Egypt

The February meeting of the Playing with the Past club was all about Ancient Egypt.

782 Deciphering secret messages

We learnt about life in Ancient Egypt, went through Howard Carter’s suitcase and decoded secret messages written in hieroglyphics. We even discovered how to make a mummy by mummifying oranges!

783 Scooping out the insides of oranges to be mummified

This FREE club will be held on the third Saturday of each month at the Beeches Community Centre in Bulford. Meetings will cover a range of interesting archaeological topics and periods and feature hands-on activities and games.

To find out more about the Playing with the Past club and details of the next meeting click here.

Project Florence Goes on Tour

The Project Florence team has been hard at work this winter designing an interactive exhibition about the Op Nightingale excavation at Barrow Clump.

Staffed by the Project Florence Officer and an Op Nightingale soldier, the exhibition will consist of informative posters, children’s activities and replica Saxon tools and weapons. It will travel to local venues for 1-day road shows, including:

  • Amesbury Museum (Wednesday 13th Feb, 11am-3pm)
  • Figheldean Village Hall (Thursday 14th Feb, 1pm-6pm)
  • Salisbury & South Wilts Museum (Friday 15th Feb, 10am-4pm)
  • Old Sarum (Sunday 17th Feb, 11am-4pm)
  • Salisbury Library (Tuesday 19th Feb, 10am-3pm)
  • Salisbury Leisure Centre (Thursday 21st Feb, 2.30-7pm)
  • Amesbury Library (Friday 22nd Feb, 9.30-5pm)
  • Old Sarum Community Rooms (Monday 25th Feb, 9.30-12.30)
  • The Beeches Community Centre, Bulford (Wednesday 27th Feb, 9.30-1.30)

Pop along to any of these events to learn more about the project, play our ‘spot the badger’ game and pick up a free Time Warriors DVD.

The exhibition will go on display at Wiltshire Museum between 16th March and 28th April along with several of the exciting artefacts from the site.

To return to the main Project Florence blog click here.

Victorian Christmas Party

In December, the Playing with the Past archaeology club enjoyed a Victorian Christmas Party at the Beeches Community Centre in Bulford.

694 Making our own Christmas crackers

We made our own Victorian Christmas cards, Christmas crackers and tree decorations, before tucking into mince pies and playing party games.

Merry Christmas from Playing with the Past!

695

This FREE club will be held on the third Saturday of each month at the Beeches Community Centre in Bulford. Meetings will cover a range of interesting archaeological topics and periods and feature hands-on activities and games.

To find out more about the Playing with the Past club and details of the next meeting click here.

To return to the main Project Florence blog click here.

Project Florence Film Premiere

Over eighty people attended the premiere of the ground-breaking Project Florence film this month. Created by Wessex Archaeology and Salisbury Arts Centre, Operation Nightingale: Time Warriors follows the progress of the Operation Nightingale dig on Barrow Clump. It features interviews with the soldiers and archaeologists as well as footage of the excavation itself.

The 25-minute film was created by a group of 14-18 year old volunteers from Salisbury as part of the Make a Movie project. Trained by professional filmmakers from Salisbury Arts Centre, the young people learnt how to film and edit footage, and were able to have a say in the direction and content of the documentary. The budding filmmakers have also achieved their Bronze Arts Awards.

683 Rifleman Kendrick excavating a Saxon grave on Barrow Clump

The premiere was the culmination of a nine month partnership project between Wessex Archaeology, the Salisbury Arts Centre, The Rifles and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. The Make a Movie project was a key part of Project Florence, a Heritage Lottery Funded initiative, which has been running alongside Operation Nightingale to make the archaeology accessible to the public.

The documentary will be available to upload shortly from the Wessex Archaeology website. Free copies of the DVD can be requested by contacting Laura Joyner, Wessex Archaeology, on 01722 326867 or at l.joyner@wessexarch.co.uk.

Find out more about Project Florence by clicking here.

Underwater Archaeology

November’s Playing with the Past club meeting was all about underwater archaeology.

The young archaeologists started the session by discussing how marine archaeologists work and the kinds of artefacts they might find. We took it in turns to identify an artefact from the water table and think about where it came from and how it ended up on the seabed.

673 Drawing a storyboard for how this mammoth bone ended up on the seafloor

The group then learnt about boats through the ages and the importance of ships for trade and travel in the past, before having a go at making our own compasses using needles and magnets.

674 Learning about boats through the ages

This FREE club will be held on the third Saturday of each month at the Beeches Community Centre in Bulford. Meetings will cover a range of interesting archaeological topics and periods and feature hands-on activities and games.

To find out more about the Playing with the Past club and details of the next meeting click here.

To return to the main Project Florence blog click here.

Make a Movie Premiere

Book your free tickets now for the premiere of the Project Florence film, Operation Nightingale: Time Warriors. The screening of this exciting new documentary will take place at 7pm on Wednesday 28th November at Salisbury Arts Centre.

Produced by a group of 14-18 year olds from Salisbury, this film follows the progress of the Operation Nightingale excavation of Barrow Clump on Salisbury Plain. It features interviews with soldiers, volunteers and archaeological specialists as well as footage of the excavation itself.

672 Make a Movie participant, Jess filming on site

This film is the result of the Make a Movie project, part of Project Florence. Wessex Archaeology has been working in collaboration with Salisbury Arts Centre, the British Army and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to engage with young people in the community and help them to develop new skills and talents for the future. The young volunteers have been trained over the summer by professional filmmakers to film, edit and produce a 25-minute documentary. To find out more about the Make a Movie project click here.

Book your FREE tickets now by clicking here.

To return to the main Project Florence blog click here.

Amazing Art-efacts!

This October, Project Florence took part in the Big Draw, the world’s biggest celebration of drawing. Coordinated by the Campaign for Drawing, the Big Draw encourages hundreds of thousands of people to get creative every year during this month-long festival.

668 Amazing Art-efacts participants inspired by a Saxon spearhead

Amazing Art-efacts, an event organised as part of Project Florence, took place at the Boston Tea Party Café on Sunday 28th October. Participants in this free drop-in workshop were inspired by Anglo-Saxon artefacts uncovered by the recent Operation Nightingale excavation on Salisbury Plain. People of all ages were encouraged to design, draw, cut and stick a piece of artwork that will be sewn into a Saxon-style tapestry, capturing the essence of these fantastic finds.

This event was a huge success and over thirty squares of the tapestry were designed and created. There will be another opportunity to contribute to the tapestry at the premiere of the Project Florence documentary, Operation Nightingale: Time Warriors. Book your free tickets now by clicking here.

669 The Amazing Art-facts team - Laura and Angus from Wessex Archaeology with help from Suzie Gutteridge, a local artist

This tapestry will form part of the Project Florence exhibition that will travel around Salisbury and the local area in February 2013. To get involved in designing this exhibition contact Laura Joyner, Project Florence Officer, on 01722 326867 or at l.joyner@wessexarch.co.uk.

To return to the main Project Florence blog click here.

More Beads!

Project Florence volunteers have had their hard work rewarded this week with the discovery of more Saxon beads.

The local residents who have been meeting weekly to process grave samples were excited to spot several glass beads last week. This sample was taken from the grave of a young lady who was buried with an array of artefacts including brooches, rings and a cosmetic brush.

664 Glass beads discovered in a grave sample by Project Florence volunteers

These tiny beads are similar to those found in the grave by the excavators. It is possible that more beads will be identified once the clean sample has thoroughly dried.

666 Project Florence volunteer Eleanor identifies a Saxon bead

To return to the main Project Florence blog click here.

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