Packed schedule for first Garstang Festival of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology

Try your hand at cave art, flint knapping and ancient beer brewing as part of the very first Garstang Festival of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology on April 5 and 6.

The University of Liverpool’s Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology (ACE) is opening its doors to the public and inviting guests of all ages to discover some of the fascinating skills involved in uncovering and deciphering our ancient past.

The inaugural Garstang Festival kicks off on the Friday evening, with a Speed Date the Experts drinks reception. Free to attend, the event will provide access to some of the Department’s academics, and give you the opportunity to learn about their work both here in the UK, and across the world.

The festival’s Family Open Day schedule for Saturday April 6 is packed full of activities, with each repeated at different times to give visitors the flexibility to try as many as they can throughout the day.

Discover the art of Ancient Beer Brewing; learn how to draw archaeological objects with a professional illustrator; take the opportunity to handle some of the Garstang Museum’s artefacts, created thousands of years ago; make your own Egyptian scrolls and Cuneiform – clay – tablets and hear the myths and stories of ancient Mesopotamia with expert, Dr Magnus Widell.

ACE academics study cave art and use a replica cave built on campus to help them do this. For the Garstang Festival, an immersive replica cave experience has been created to allow you to view Palaeolithic art as our ancestors did.

If this piqued your interest, drop in cave art graffiti sessions take place throughout the day, giving you the chance to create the type of marks still visible, thousands of years after they were first laid down.

There are also bookable flint-knapping sessions – where you can make your own stone tools – and microscopy tasters, giving visitors the chance to discover how archaeologists use microscopes in their research to unveil the secrets of the past.

The Department will also run demonstrations of the some of the more technically advanced equipment throughout the day.

And with lots of new skills under your belt, ACE is calling for all budding archaeologists to help them examine a range of stone tools and work out what they were used for. This isn’t a quiz. Many of the stone tools found over the centuries were identified by their similarity to contemporary objects – but what if researchers have been wrong all along? You could help decipher the truth as part of the Young Archaeologists Stone Tools Research Team.

Expert guided tours of the University’s highly regarded Garstang Museum are also available throughout the day.

The Garstang Festival of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology takes place on Friday April 5 and Saturday April 6 across 12-14 Abercromby Square, The Garstang Museum, The Victoria Gallery & Museum and the University’s Central Teaching Laboratories.

To find out more, and book your free sessions, please visit

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