Here at the CREWS project we are excited to be involved in a number of activities that are coming up in the next couple of months. Here is a round up…
Cambridge University hosts the Festival of Ideas in late October, bringing to the public all the most exciting aspects of research going on at the university – but in the most accessible and fun ways we can think up!
First up, we will be at the McDonald Institute’s Prehistory and Archaeology Day, where trying your hand at ancient writing will be just one of the activities on offer. This is an all day event on Saturday 21st October at the Cambridge Archaeological Unit.
Also coinciding with part of the Festival of Ideas is a brand new exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, Codebreakers and Groundbreakers. This exhibition will examine various aspects of the codebreaking process by focusing on two important 20th century events: the breaking of the Enigma code by Alan Turing and the decipherment of Linear B by Michael Ventris. Opening on 24th October, it will be running until early February – so if you have a chance to come to Cambridge in this period, please do drop by and have a look!
On Thursday 26th October, we are running our own event in connection with the Codebreakers and Groundbreakers exhibition: Script Detectives. The idea is to try writing in ancient scripts and think about how they work as codes – which makes them very good for writing secret messages! This is a family event held at the Museum of Classical Archaeology in the Classics Faculty (and is already fully booked, I’m afraid – we’re pleased to know that all the places were booked within a day of the booking opening, but sad that it means we don’t have room for any more people!).
Still in connection with the Codebreakers and Groundbreakers exhibition, we are also going to be taking part in a family event at the Fitzwilliam Museum on Saturday 28th October: Codes in Clay. Here we’ll be demonstrating how to make clay tablets and write on them in Linear B, which is something we also use as a research method to understand how people wrote in the ancient world. It’s necessary to book for this (click on the link above for more information).
And finally (for now), in November we are excited to be taking part in Being Human: a festival of the humanities. Our event is called Writing in the Sand, and introduces the cultural and epigraphic heritage of the Coptic community, the modern heirs of ancient Egyptian civilisation. This will take place on Saturday 18th November at Great St Mary’s church in Cambridge and again booking is necessary (click on the link above).
Although these are events taking place physically in Cambridge, that doesn’t mean that you have to be here to be involved – look out for further blog posts that will help you to engage with the issues we’re highlighting in these events… and of course to try your hand at some ancient epigraphy!