Exploring the Future of the Early Medieval

Issued 17/4/2015

On Saturday 20th June, academics and heritage professionals are invited to take part in a fascinating one day conference on the researching and representation of this extraordinary period of British history.

With museum visitor numbers continuing to rise across the country, audiences are expecting new and updated exhibitions to excite and educate them. This constant need for new content can present a challenge to researchers and curators as they try to interpret and represent history in an accessible way.

This very issue and more will be debated at a special one day conference, organised by The JORVIK Group, the attractions and events arm of York Archaeological Trust, entitled ‘Researching and Representing the Early Medieval: The 2015 Richard Hall Symposium’

“Over 30 years have passed since the opening of the JORVIK Viking Centre in 1984, so now feels the right time to look back on its successes in revolutionising the interpretation of Viking history and archaeology, and to look to the future of representations of the entire Early Medieval period.”

Comments Dr Chris Tuckley, head of interpretation at The JORVIK Group.

The conference has been inspired by the work of the late Dr Richard Hall, the lead Archaeologist of the famous Coppergate dig, which led to the creation of JORVIK Viking Centre. It looks to the future of presenting the Early Medieval period; from the fall of the Roman Empire in the West to the early years of the 12th century, including the Viking era.

“The Early Medieval period offers some interesting challenges to museum practitioners: audiences may have preconceptions about this period in history, and might consider it too remote or feel that it has already been covered in detail.” Continues Dr Tuckley.

Delegates will also learn about how current and future research opportunities could threaten long-held notions on the period and strategies for managing this as well looking at how these findings are represented outside the research community.

Speakers already lined up include:

  • David Petts, Lecturer in the Archaeology of Northern England, University of Durham
  • Edmund Southworth, Director, Manx National Heritage
  • Julie Gibson, Lecturer and County Archaeologist for Orkney, University of the Highlands and Islands

Aimed at heritage professionals and researchers in such related fields as archaeology, history and public history, the 2015 Richard Hall Symposium is taking place at Rahtz Lecture Theatre, King’s Manor, York on Saturday 20th June 2015. Registration will take place 9.00am, 10am start and a 4.00pm finish. Places are £25 adult, £20 conc, student & Friends of YAT with morning, lunch and afternoon refreshments included in the price.

For detailed information and booking details visit www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk/events or call 01904 615505.


Notes to Editors:

Event Details

Name: Researching and Representing the Early Medieval: the 2015 Richard Hall Symposium

When: Saturday 20th June 2015, registration from 9.00am, 10am start, 4.00pm finish

Rahtz Lecture Theatre, King’s Manor, York, YO1 7EP

Cost: £25 adult, £20 conc, student & Friends of YAT. (Price includes morning/afternoon refreshments and lunch)

Press Passes are available on request.

The JORVIK Group:

The JORVIK Group is owned by York Archaeological Trust and comprises:

JORVIK Viking Centre, which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014


Barley Hall

Richard III Experience at Monk Bar

Henry VII Experience at Micklegate Bar

The JORVIK Group also organises York’s annual JORVIK Viking Festival in February and the Yorkshire Medieval Festival in August.


York Archaeological Trust

York Archaeological Trust (YAT) is an independent charity which investigates the past for the benefit of present communities and future generations. With over 40 years of expansion and experience in linking professional skills and expertise in the practise of archaeology across the U.K., it carries out carefully targeted and cost effective archaeological recording, excavation and research for a broad range of clients and partners.

Since its inception YAT has grown to be one of the UK’s biggest archaeological organisations, taking part in over 350 excavations and 1400 watching briefs, growing from its head office in York, to extend to three further offices in Glasgow, Sheffield and Nottingham.

YAT has an ongoing commitment to community involvement, education and training in archaeology, and the presentation of archaeological discoveries to the public through a number of innovative and dynamic ways including visitor attractions, lectures, publications and events.

More information can be found at www.yorkarchaeology.co.uk.

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