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carol@mirror.co.uk: Virtual history; TIME TO GET DIGGING AND UNCOVER THE PAST.



Byline: SHEILA PROPHET

GET ready for Britain's biggest-ever mass archaeological excavation, which takes place this weekend, live on Channel 4.

The Big Dig Big Dig or The Big Dig may refer to:
  • Big Dig (Boston, Massachusetts)
  • Big Dig (Regina, Saskatchewan)
  • Big Dig (Liverpool)
  • The Erie Canal, while it was being constructed. Also sometimes called Clinton's Big Dig, after Governor DeWitt Clinton.
 will be conducted by Tony Robinson

For other people named Tony Robinson, see Tony Robinson (disambiguation).


Tony Robinson (born 15 August 1946) is an English actor, broadcaster and political campaigner, known for playing the part of Baldrick in the BBC TV series
 and his Time Team and, as you can see at the show's site, www.channel4. co.uk/history/microsites/B/bigdig/, enthusiasts around the UK will be joining in by digging up square metre Noun 1. square metre - a centare is 1/100th of an are
centare, square meter

area unit, square measure - a system of units used to measure areas
 test pits.

If you want to join them, check out Phil Harding's hints and an illustrated guide to what you might find - from ancient coins to human bones, which have a site of their own at www.eskeletons.org/viewer/human Select.html

If that sounds too strenuous, sit back and enjoy other people's hard work - www.archaeology.co.uk, the website of Current Archaeology magazine, is a fascinating place to explore the past, with huge databases of organisations involved in archaeology and digs.

If you can't visit the places in person, the ancient sites directory at www.henge henge
Noun

a circular monument, often containing a circle of stones, dating from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages [from Stonehenge]
. org.uk provides the next best thing, in the shape of 360-degree views of long barrows and stone circles. The Prehistorama at www.stonepages.com is even more comprehensive with 26 panoramas. This fantastic site also has a guide to an amazing 529 stone circles, standing stones standing stones: see megalithic monuments. , barrows, cairns and hillforts across Europe.

If you have a thing for cave paintings, don't miss a virtual visit to the Cave of Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc, at www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/ chauvet/en/ to read about the cave's 30,000-year-old wall paintings and see them for yourself.

Appropriately enough, many of our top archaeological sites now have their own websites.

For starters, check out the Sutton Hoo Society at www.suttonhoo.org; www.hengeworld .co.uk an informative site all about Stonehenge and Avebury; the weirdly name Yorkshire village of Wetwang, with its seven bronze chariot burials, at www.wetwang.org.uk, and two fine sites about Hadrian's Wall - Wallnet at http://museums.ncl.ac.uk/wallnet/wall/index.htm and http://segedunum.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk which also includes a forum where you are encouraged to chat about all things Roman.

Fans of the Romans will also love www. romanbritain.org.uk, put together by author Guy de la Bedoyere. Or try www.romanbaths .co.uk for a virtual spa tour.

Still can't tell the Mesolithic era from the Medieval? Travel back over 500,000 years with the "ages of treasure" timeline at the BBC's www.bbc.co.uk/history/archaeology, where you can find out how archaeology has developed and discover which artefacts were voted top treasures at the British Museum.

You can see those items for yourself, including the Hoxne Treasure, the Lewis Chessmen, the Rillaton Gold Cup and the Sutton Hoo Burial Chamber at www.the britishmuseum.ac.uk

For other exhibits, search www.24hour museum.org.uk using the word archaeology and you will find 762 institutions to visit. There are also 56 upcoming events, some of which could prove popular during the school holidays, including an exhibition of Dino Birds, Feathered Fossils From China - which is opening today at the National Museum Of Scotland The Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, is a building which, together with the adjacent Royal Museum, comprises the National Museum of Scotland. It is dedicated to the history, people and culture of Scotland. The museum is on Chambers Street, in central Edinburgh.  in Edinburgh. Find out more at www.nms.ac. uk/dinobirds/index.html

These events also include a host of special happenings for National Archaeology Days 2003, which take place on July 19-20 and aim to get families invloved. English Heritage is staging several events, including a funny faces trail at Castle Acre Priory Castle Acre Priory, in the village of Castle Acre, Norfolk, England, is thought to have been founded in 1089 by William de Warenne the son the 1st.Earl of Surrey who had founded England's first Cluniac priory at Lewes in 1077. The order originated from Burgundy.  in Norfolk on July 20 and guided tours of the Groundwell Ridge excavation near Swindon. Its largest event is at the Centre For Archaeology in Portsmouth. Find out more at www.english-heritage.org.uk National Archaeology Days is organised by the Council For British Archaeology The Council for British Archaeology is a British organisation based in York that promotes archaeology within the United Kingdom. Since 1944 the Council has been involved in publicising and generating public support for British archaeology; formulating and disseminating , along with the Young Archaeologists' Club, and you can find a full list of events at www.britarch.ac.uk. They include invitations to carve a Saxon curse at Bedford Museum, join a Napoleonic boot camp at Berry Head National Park at Brixham and see a gladatorial display at Chedworth Roman Villa in Glos.

Young archaeologists will also enjoy the magazine at www. britarch.ac.uk/yac/ which includes an interview with Time Team's Mick Aston, who reveals that their most embarrassing moment was when they all sat in a huge trench in London and couldn't think of anything to say. There's also a report on mysterious burial sites in Staines and some jokes. Why are archaeologists always upset? Because their careers are in ruins, of course!

CAPTION(S):

TREASURE: Mick, Phil and Tony from Time Team; BIG PROJECT: Visit the Time Team site
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2003
Words:762
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