Oxfordshire archaeology project wins national award

Work to increase awareness of local heritage by improving digital access through photography, 3D models, virtual exhibitions and a heritage day event (19 March) has won prestigious national recognition.

SMA Awards 1 Archaeologists in Oxfordshire County Council’s museum service have been recognised at the Society for Museum Archaeology's annual awards for their work in developing a digital access and communication engagement project.

The project sought to better engage with communities in order to increase awareness of local heritage and improve digital access to resources. The society commended the project for the way it thoughtfully and successfully engaged local communities.

Councillor Jenny Hannaby, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and Safety said: “It’s fabulous to hear about the success of our archaeology team.

“This project, which included several volunteers, has been a vital tool in helping to improve and better engage our local communities, exceeding our expectations along the way. Not only this, but the success has also provided a model for future projects and collaborations within the council. Well done to all!”

The Eynsham heritage day attracted 462 people, with a number of events taking place including two tours of the site of Eynsham Abbey, two tours of Eynsham Abbey around the village, family activities and much more.

As part of the project, over a thousand artefacts in the collection were photographed – images will be accessible later in the year through a new website. Eight 3D models are also available to view on the website sketchfab.SMA Awards 2

The museum resource centre, near Witney, is the principal store for all archaeological sites excavated or studied in Oxfordshire, apart from those situated on land belonging to Oxford University. Collections include sites and objects from every period of human history – prehistoric, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, medieval and post-medieval. It is open to the public by appointment only.

More information

  •  Find out more about the awards by visiting the Society for Museum Archaeology’s website.
  • 1,188 artefacts in the Oxfordshire museums service collection were photographed. The images will be accessible and searchable using Oxfordshire County Council’s new heritage web-based search, which goes live later in the year.
  • Five co-curators, all residents of Eynsham were recruited for the project.
  • 462 people attended the Eynsham Heritage Day on 19 March, with the following events taking place: 
    • Two tours of the site of Eynsham Abbey 
    • Two tours of Eynsham Abbey around the village 
    • Family i-spy handout: architectural features in the centre of the village
    • A pop-up exhibition of medieval pottery and a pop-up exhibition of the ice age 
    • Exhibition at the Bartholomew Rooms of the Eynsham Abbey collection, private stonework and past images of the Eynsham
    • Archaeological finds identification
    • A medieval tile-making family activity 
    • A guided tour of St. Leonards Church
    • Drop-in tours of Eynsham's local pottery and old forge site

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