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August 2015

SALC academic helps youngsters dig up the past

(29 July 2015)

Professor Julian Thomas, from the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures (SALC), has taken part in a joint project this summer, alongside the charity Pure Innovations. The project gave two young people with learning disabilities, from Rochdale, the opportunity to join an archaeological excavation at Dorstone Hill in Herefordshire.

The two young people took part in the dig alongside University undergraduates, to help in the investigation of three funerary long mounds dating to the Early Neolithic period (c. 4000-3500 BC). Their week-long experience forms one of the challenges the pair will undertake in order to achieve the prestigious Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Julian Thomas commented; “it has been very rewarding to contribute to the University's goals of engaging the wider community and promoting social inclusion by helping these young people to achieve their Duke of Edinburgh's Awards by taking part in the excavation at Dorstone Hill. This is a high profile archaeological project of international significance, and it provided an excellent platform for this kind of activity, which we hope to continue in future years.”

This site has previously been reported in the national and international press, owing to the presence of the remains of burnt timber buildings sealed beneath the mounds which is an unusual finding.