Theme Information For Organisers

Find out how to get the most out of your event for this year's Festival theme: Journeys.

Festival of Archaeology: Journeys

Getting from A to B, one step in front of the other, road to nowhere, life in the fast lane, life journeys, career paths, holidays and pilgrimages: our cultural language and heritage is littered with references to the Journeys we make in our lifetimes. 

From the processes we apply to archaeological finds to transform their meaning, to the evidence of former transport systems - the theme of Journeys resonates through archaeology. Journeys happen at every scale, through space, time and personal experience. Journeys include daily commutes, trade routes and migrations. Journeys cross land and sea or take place within yourself as a personal journey.   

Journeys of and within people traverse all genres and eras from prehistory to the modern day, a journey encompasses careers and volunteering (either from youth or a midlife change) to a journey of recovery and/or discovery. 

We hope the theme of Journeys will help people discover the archaeology that is all around them. It will flow throughout the 2022 Festival in a myriad of ways from the obvious such as pilgrimage, roads, canals and railways to the wider the wider influence of folklore, customs, beliefs, traditions, knowledge and language.  

Journey encompasses many aspects of archaeology and heritage from travelling to progression, and during this year’s Festival we want to help people discover new journeys and share their own, whether it be physical or psychological, tangible and/or intangible heritage. 


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How will you incorporate Journey’s into your Festival event? We’ve got some ideas to help inspire you:

  • Undertake an exploration of an historic routeway near where you live. It might be a drover's route, a Roman Road, a Medieval Bridge or a ghost road left over from a road development. These kind of routeways are great for map and photography based activities.
  • Journey back in time and share the archaeology of your local area. You might find some inspiration from our latest Young Archaeologists’ Club project – From Ordinary to Extraordinary
  • Tell the life story of an object – where did it come from, how was it made and used, and where is it now? The discovery of a pilgrim badge and a medieval tile at Hallaton in Leicestershire revealed the story of the “lost chapel of St Morrell” and inspired a series of talks and events. 
  • Share your own journey in archaeology by writing a blog for A Day in Archaeology. Whether you’re working or volunteering in archaeology we’d like to hear about your experience. 
  • Encourage people to take a self-led journey through a landscape with a guided walk such as this walking trail around New Briggate Heritage Action Zone in Leeds or Archaeology Scotland’s walk around Stobs Camp, near Hawick which you can do from the comfort of your armchair.  
  • The UK has some fantastic transport and industrial heritage and the Canal and River Trust always have plenty of events on this theme. From abandoned trainlines to journeys underground that tell the story of coalmining, why not get creative and bring these stories to life with some hands on or art based activities.   
  • Create an activity people can access on demand for our Resources area. Look out for details of how to upload your resource on the Festival site from 1 April 2022.   
  • If you already have an event or resource for the Festival in the past – what about adapting it to our Journeys theme?

Whatever you choose to do, we are there to support you. Contact [email protected] if you have any questions.