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One fine day in Cardiff: the CAER Heritage Project

Date: 16/10/2013

The latest film from the AHRC unveils a community archaeology project that is bringing the past to life to enhance the future of two West Cardiff suburbs.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the CAER Heritage Project is a collaborative research project between Cardiff University, Ely and Caerau Communities First, local schools and local residents. The project centres on one of Cardiff's most important, but little-known, archaeological sites, Caerau Iron Age hillfort.

Caerau hillfort is one of the largest and best preserved in South Wales. Recent excavations by the CAER Heritage Project team including more than 120 local volunteers showed that occupation started around 500BC and continued until at least the third century AD, well into the Roman period.

The suburbs of Caerau and Ely are two of Cardiff's most deprived areas, facing significant social and economic problems. The CAER Heritage Project's objective is to help the people of Caerau and Ely to connect with this site's fascinating the past and make it relevant to the present. From the outset the project' key objectives have been to put local people at the heart of cutting-edge archaeological research, to develop educational opportunities and to challenge stigmas and unfounded stereotypes ascribed to this part of Cardiff.

Huw Lewis AM, Minister for Education and Skills; Welsh Assembly says: the CAER Heritage Project addresses directly issues of the Welsh Government's Tackling Poverty agenda. Sometimes there's little no opportunity for communities in which these sites are embedded to get involved. What delights me in this project is that it does from the bottom up, involve people. It goes back always to the local community.

This film takes us from the project's launch event in early 2013, to this summer's excavations at Caerau hillfort. Along the way, we meet some of the researchers, members of the community, community partners, and school children who have been involved in this exciting project that is putting community at the heart of archaeology, and archaeology at the heart of a community.

For further information on the CAER Heritage Project please see the project website.

You can watch the film here on the AHRC website:

Notes to the editor

  • For more information on this film please contact AHRC Multimedia Editor, Emi Spinner, on 01793 416020 or email e.spinner@ahrc.ac.uk
  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. www.ahrc.ac.uk
  • Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK's most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University Chancellor Professor Sir Martin Evans.  Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff's three flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places. www.cardiff.ac.uk
  • Connected Communities is a cross-Council Programme being led by the AHRC in partnership with the EPSRC, ESRC, MRC and NERC and a range of other organisations to understand the changing nature of communities in their historical and cultural contexts and the value of communities in sustaining and enhancing our future quality of life


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