The Foundations of Archaeology Project was present once again at the annual Salisbury Museum Festival of Archaeology weekend (22 to 23 September), thanks to the contribution of our volunteers.
If the FoA Project is now coming to an end, continuity was ensured at the FoA stand by the presence of the forthcoming Landscape Partnership, which will also have an archaeological element. The Festival presents a unique opportunity for our volunteers to be aware of other archaeological work in the area and, in the case of a test pit dug in the front lawn of the museum by Phil Harding during the festival itself, how rewarding digging a test pit can be. The exhibition currently being shown at the museum: British Art: Ancient Landscapes provided a valuable insight into the way that both British artists and our ‘founders of archaeology’ were emerging from a long period where our monuments were considered neither of historic or artistic interest. In the same way as antiquarians such as Colt Hoare initially preferred the antiquities of the ‘Grand Tour’ to our own ‘barbaric’ remains so artists, before Turner and Constable, preferred depicting classical ruins, with shepherds in the foreground, to similar scenes on the Wiltshire downs. As a legacy of the FoA Project, our panels on display at the Festival are being retained by Salisbury Museum to be exhibited shortly in the Wessex gallery.