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Archaeology Matters

CBA Festival of Archaeology to go ahead with revised format

Festival of Archaeology 2020

In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) has decided to make some changes to the 2020 CBA Festival of Archaeology. It will now be taking place in two parts with a series of digital events in July and on the ground events in October.

We know how many people look forward to the Festival each July, so we have decided to hold a week of digital activity to ensure everyone can still enjoy the Festival despite the current social distancing measures.

The second week in October will provide the opportunity to participate in on the ground Festival events and activities around the UK. Attending events in your local area is a great way to support the local groups, charities, museums and heritage organisations that have been affected by the current crisis.    

This year’s Festival theme is Climate and Environment and we’ll be offering a range of events, activities and competitions in July and October that will help you discover more about archaeology, climate change and the environment we live in.

Digital events 11-19 July

The first part of the Festival will take place from the 11-19 July with 9 days of digital activity designed to help people explore archaeology from home. There will be a range of events including A Day in Archaeology and Ask an Archaeologist Day alongside new events from the CBA and the Shout Out Loud project. There will be new opportunities each day for you to get creative with and inspired by archaeology online.

On the ground events 14 October – 1 November

The second part of the Festival will run from 14 October – 1 November and will be an opportunity to get out and discover some incredible archaeology. Over 9 days, the CBA and event organisers around the UK will be offering a wide range of opportunities to participate from talks and walks to hands on activities, skills training and family-friendly fun.

Keep in touch  

We will be updating the Festival of Archaeology website regularly with news and event details and we will also be launching the first of this year’s Festival competitions in the coming weeks. To keep up to date with all the latest news you can sign up for our e-newsletter or get in touch with your questions by emailing us at   

Event organisers

If you are an event organiser and had been planning an event for July, we would like to invite you to join us for the October element of the Festival. Due to the current uncertainty about when social distancing measures will be lifted, we are unable to promote any on the ground activities in July. Instead, we encourage you to join us in October so that we can help support your group or organisation by promoting your venue and/or activities.

We are hoping we will also be able to provide opportunities for event organisers who wish to deliver a digital event in July. We will be sharing more information about this in the next few weeks.

We will be updating all of the organisers’ information on the Festival website over the coming weeks but in the meantime if you have any questions please do get in touch with the Festival team at

Help support the Festival

Over the last 29 years the Festival of Archaeology has grown from a one-day event to over 2 weeks with 100s of events. We are grateful for all the support we have received over the years from our event organisers, funders, CBA members and the public to help the Festival become the biggest celebration of archaeology in the UK.

To make the Festival even better in the future we need your help. We would like to be able to deliver more events ourselves and provide more help and support to our event organisers so that an even bigger audience can enjoy and be inspired by archaeology.

A donation of just £5 will make a difference and help ensure the Festival continues for years to come. To make your donation please follow this link or text DISCOVER to 70970 to donate £5 now.  

The Festival of Archaeology is coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology in partnership with Historic England. The Festival is also supported by Cadw, English Heritage, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Towergate Insurance. The Festival of Archaeology is also part of European Archaeology Days.

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