Society for Museum Archaeology Annual Conference 2019

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Grosvenor Museum

27 Grosvenor Street



United Kingdom

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Event description


Behind the Themes

This conference will consider how thematic or synthesised views of the past are studied and presented in museums. Have you been working on an activity, exhibition or research that focussed on a particular chronological period or theme? How, for instance, is the concept of ‘Roman’ presented to the public? How, if at all, does this vary between museums and collections and what developments might we expect in the future? What or whose agendas are driving what is displayed archaeologically in museums and how is this affecting interpretation and engagement with collections?

Conference programme:

Thursday 7th November

11am-12.30pm Optional, pre-bookable field trip:

Tour of the Grosvenor Museum and Chester City Tour

Liz Montgomery (Curator), Jane Hebblewhite (Senior Heritage Officer) and Julie Edwards (Archaeological Officer)

12.30pm-1.30pm Lunch (own arrangements)

1.30pm- 2.00pm: Registration at the Grosvenor Museum

2.00pm: Welcome

Duncan Brown, SMA Chair

Session one

Title: Near and Far: Spotlight Projects

Chair: Lucy Creighton

2.10pm-2.40pm: Archaeology for the People

Liz Montgomery

West Cheshire Museums

2.40pm-3.10pm: Norwich Castle: Gateway to Medieval England

Andrew Ferrara

Norfolk Museums Trust

3.10pm-3.40pm: Rethinking the ‘slums’: Victorian archaeology in a museum context

Liz Stewart

National Museums Liverpool


Refreshments break and networking

Session two

Title: Themes in Prehistory

Chair: Nick Booth

4.00pm-4.30pm: Lost Landscapes

Deborah Fox and Emma Hancox

Museums Worcestershire / Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service

4.30pm-5.00pm: BC or not BC? Is that the question?

Duncan Brown

Historic England

5.00pm-5.30pm: Presenting Prehistory: Exploring the impact of a series of prehistory-based projects at Tullie House Museum

Elsa Price

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust

Keynote address

5.45pm-6.45pm: Museum Archaeology: The Telling of Human Stories

Gail Boyle

Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

7.30pm Conference dinner (included)

Join us at Chez Jules

71 Northgate St, Chester CH1 2HQ

Friday 8th November

Session three

Title: Display and Interpretation

Chair: Philip Wise

9.30am-10.00am: Making a new gallery for the archaeological collections of Perth Museum and Art Gallery

Mark Hall

Perth Museum and Art Gallery

10.00am-10.30am: Experiencing the gods: Displaying and interpreting Romano-British religion in museums

Antony Lee

Durham University

10.30am-11.00am: From Welsh Folk Museum to National Museum of History – the redevelopment of St Fagans

Elizabeth Walker

National Museums Wales


Refreshments break

11.20am-11.50am: Beyond the Bling: Exploring the human stories behind 4000 years of adornment

Glynn Davis

Colchester and Ipswich Museums

11.50am-12.20pm: Numismatics, Norman England and other Tricky Issues: Thematic display and marginalised collections

Anja Thompson-Rohde

Bromley House Library / University of Nottingham Museum

12.20pm-12.50pm: SMA AGM

12.50pm – 1.10pm: SMA Annual Awards for Excellence

1.10pm-2.00pm Lunch (provided)

Session four

Title: Quickfire Papers and Engagement

Chair: Amal Khreisheh

2.00pm-2.10pm – Waiting in the Wings: The content, deposition and documentation of digital archaeological archives

Claire Tsang, Historic England

2.10pm-2.20pm – Graffiti

Kevin Booth, English Heritage

2.20pm-2.30pm – Using Thematic Approaches at the Ure Museum to Engage Staff and Researchers

Jayne Holly, University of Reading

2.30pm-2.40pm – Treasure

Angie Bolton, Portable Antiquities Scheme

2.40-2.50pm - Questions

2.50pm-3.20pm: Is Disposal a participatory practice?

Jenny Durrant

University of Leicester


Refreshments break

3.40pm-4.10pm: How can I put this? Interpreting the Evil Eye for a modern audience

Cameron Moffett

English Heritage

4.10pm–4.40pm: Driving community engagement and research: a vision for Watling Street

Jane Evans

Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service

4.40pm-5.00pm Discussion, Sum up and Close

Chair of the Society for Museum Archaeology

Date and Time


Grosvenor Museum

27 Grosvenor Street



United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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