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Durham University

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Tracing our religious heritage: prehistory to present

(13 June 2019)

An archaeological excavation at Binchester Roman Fort

From Stone Age rock art to the World Heritage Site of Durham Castle and Cathedral, the North East of England has a religious heritage to rival anywhere in the world.

But while we know much about particular aspects and places, no-one has ever captured an overview of the topic, right from prehistory to the present day.

Now some of our archaeologists have set themselves the tasking of doing just that – and you can help.

Exploring our shared history

Belief in the North East, made possible with a £180,000 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will study Neolithic rock art landscapes, Bronze Age burial mounds, an early medieval cemetery and medieval monasteries.

Leading the project will be Dr David Petts, an Associate Professor in our world-leading Department of Archaeology. He’s an expert on the social archaeology of the first millennium AD – particularly the development of Christianity. And he’s passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise with others, and inspiring interest in our past.

Your chance to get involved

For Belief in the North East, David and his colleagues are looking to recruit hundreds of community volunteers, to undertake site excavation, digital photography, geophysical site mapping, landscape survey, explore historical archives, and document searches. Training and supervision from experts will be available, sometimes to undergraduate level standard.

For more information or to get involved, please visit the Belief in the North East website.

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