Pop-up archaeology exhibition explores life on a post-war Lincolnshire council estate


A free pop-up archaeology exhibition in Lincoln is set to explore what life was like on a post-war council estate in the 1960s, showcasing items found during a unique community dig in Gainsborough.

The event will take place in the Waterside Shopping Centre on Saturday 17th November 2018. Visitors will be able to get hands-on with some of the unique discoveries unearthed during a community excavation on the Middlefield Estate in Gainsborough in 2016 led by a team from the University of Lincoln.

Excavated objects including fragments of toys, discarded sweet wrappers and other everyday items tell a story of growing up in post-war Britain and show the importance of a remarkable programme of post-war local authority house-building which created four million new homes in just 15 years.

The interactive exhibition will feature a mock dig and a variety of archaeology themed games including ‘pick-a-pit’ table-top excavation and archaeology bingo, with edible prizes for the winners. Visitors will also be able to examine some of the real items from the dig and contribute their own memories of playing outdoors as children.

The event forms part of the national Being Human Festival of humanities, led by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the British Academy.

The event will give visitors the opportunity view photos and videos of the dig as well as talking to residents who took part in the Middlefield dig about what they learned about social housing and why it is important.

Event organiser Carenza Lewis, Professor for the Public Understanding of Research at the University of Lincoln’s School of History and Heritage, who also led the Middlefield Dig, said: “This pop-up expo is a great opportunity for the public to explore the surprising discoveries made by local residents taking part in an archaeological dig on a post-war council estate.

“Find out what the dig revealed about its history and why it matters; and contribute your own memories of childhood play and ideas about social housing. Drop-in and talk to dig participants, look at the self-directed wall-mounted photo-narrative and finds display, take part in a hands-on mock excavation and win prizes in games including archaeological bingo and a finds hunt.”