DigNation

22nd - 23rd September 2018

Everything you need to know about the world's first archaeology festival - in honour of Mick Aston!

So here we are! DigNation is fully funded, it’s really happening, and it’s all down to you for helping us make it real. THANK YOU! Now it’s time to start planning your weekend…

When Tony Robinson first came to us with his idea to host an event to honour Mick Aston, we knew that many people around the world would be interested. But we had NO IDEA that so many of you would help to make it happen in so many ways. You lot are as crazy as we are (well, just about anyway…)

Thanks also for writing to us and sharing your stories about Mick, and the many ways he has inspired, amazed and taught so many people. It’s clear to us that Mick’s legacy is phenomenal, and we’ll do our absolute best to make sure that comes through over the festival weekend – whether you’re joining us online or in person.

Now it’s time to get planning! What’s on? When? Where do I need to be? What’s the deal with the party? When am I getting my login to the livestream? Can I watch the talks online after the festival? AND OMG WHAT ABOUT THE PUBS ON HOLY ISLAND?!? All your answers are right here.

Ready? There’s plenty of information on this page to help you, and you can always get in touch with our amazing DV squad if there’s something you still need to know.

(the rumours about an electroceilidh band and inflatable pub are true, btw…)

What does my ticket include?

There’s so much going on at DigNation – talks in the lecture hall, fun family-friendly events in the Fringe area, livestreaming of the talks, and… a party! Here’s a brief reminder of what each ticket type includes (and doesn’t include).

Full Festival Ticket

Includes:

  • Entry to the Lecture Hall
  • Entry to the Fringe events
  • Entry to the party
  • Access to downloadable podcasts of the festival talks

Does NOT include:

  • Dig Experience or Lab Experience (unless booked separately)
  • Festival Goodies (t-shirt etc)

Please check the Schedule tab for details of when and where to arrive.

Fringe Ticket

Includes:

  • Entry to the Fringe events
  • Entry to the party
  • Access to downloadable podcasts of the festival talks

Does NOT include:

  • Entry to the Lecture Hall
  • Dig Experience or Lab Experience (unless booked separately)
  • Festival Goodies (t-shirt etc)

Please check the Schedule tab for details of when and where to arrive.

Dig Experience Ticket

Includes:

  • Entry to the dig (you’ll already have received confirmation of your slot)
  • Entry to the party

Does NOT include:

  • Entry to the Lecture Hall
  • Entry to the Fringe events
  • Access to downloadable podcasts of the festival talks
  • Festival Goodies (t-shirt etc)

Please check the Schedule tab for details of when and where to arrive.

Lab Experience Ticket

Includes:

  • Entry to the dig (you’ll already have received confirmation of your slot)
  • Entry to the party

Does NOT include:

  • Entry to the Lecture Hall
  • Entry to the Fringe events
  • Access to downloadable podcasts of the festival talks
  • Festival Goodies (t-shirt etc)

Please check the Schedule tab for details of when and where to arrive.

Virtual Ticket

Includes:

  • An online login to watch livestreams of the festival talks
  • Access to downloadable podcasts of the festival talks after the event

Does NOT include:

  • Entry to the Lecture Hall
  • Entry to the Fringe events
  • Entry to the Party
  • Festival Goodies (t-shirt etc)

You will receive an email with your login details before 14th September

Full-On Festival Fun Stuff (Festival Goodies)

Includes:

  • DigNation T-shirt
  • DigNation stickers
  • DigNation badges
  • Virtual Ticket

Does NOT include:

  • Entry to the Lecture Hall
  • Entry to the Fringe events
  • Entry to the Party

You will receive an email with your login details before 14th September

Mick’s Army

Includes:

  • Our eternal gratitude
  • Free snippets of the festival as shared on social media

Does NOT include:

  • Entry to any festival venues or events
  • Virtual Tickets
  • Festival Goodies

When should I arrive? What do I need to do? What time do the events start and finish?

On arrival, EVERYONE who has bought a DigNation ticket will need to register at the main festival venue – the Crossman Hall at the centre of Holy Island Village. This includes people who have bought Full Festival tickets, Fringe tickets, and Dig or Finds Lab Experience tickets.

  1. You DO NOT need an actual ticket – we will be operating guest-list style, so all you need at registration is the name of the person who bought your ticket. You will then be given your relevant entry badge.
  2. You only need to register once!

For Full Festival ticket holders, registration opens at 08:00 on Saturday 22nd September, with talks beginning at 09:15.

For all other events on Saturday and Sunday, and for safe crossing times over the causeway onto the island (and back again!), please check the registration and event timings below and remember… the schedule is slightly different on Saturday and Sunday due to the tides!

You can also check the Festival Map to see where you can park, where you can get food, and where the different Festival venues are located.

Please note, we will NOT be sending out:

  • Any paper tickets or e-ticket. We will be operating guest-list style, so all you need for registration is the name of the person who bought your ticket. When you arrive, we will give you an entry badge.
  • Printed schedules, maps or other materials. As an environmentally conscious social enterprise we will NOT be printing them out – all of this information is included on this page, will be posted in the lobby during the festival, and will be available from all DigNation staff.

Please remember that you DO need to:

  • Keep your entry badges for the duration of your stay to be able to get in and out of the festival venues.
  • Be aware of the safe-crossing times for getting on and off the island.
  • Be respectful of people’s homes, the village shared spaces, and the entire island. Holy Island Village is home to a tight-knit community of year-round residents, who have been very welcoming to the DigNation team, and we want to keep it that way!

Saturday 22nd September 2018

Safe crossing times

04:35 –12:30 / 17:20 – 00:35 (Sun)

Please respect the tides! Don’t leave it too late, follow all instructions, and most of all, double check on the official tide timetable website – we DON’T want you getting stranded!

Lindisfarne Tide Schedule

Talks

(‘Full Festival’ Ticket-holders only)

Registration opens: 08:00

Talks begin: 09:15 am

Talks end: 18:00

Fringe

(Full Festival and Fringe ticket-holders only)

Registration opens: 09:00

Events begin: 10:00

Events end: 17:00

Dig & Finds Lab Experiences

(pre-booked ticket-holders only)

If you are booked onto the morning session

Registration: 09:15

Begins: 10:00

Ends: 13:00

If you are booked onto the afternoon session

Registration: Anytime from 09:15

Begins: 14:00

Ends: 17:00

Please note: you’ll need to arrive promptly for the start of your experience at the Dig site or Finds Room as you’ll need to complete a briefing with the rest of your group.

PARTY!

(Full Festival, Fringe, and Dig/Finds Lab Experience ticket-holders)

Bar opens: 18:00

Band: 19:30

Party finishes: 23:00

Sunday 23rd September 2018

Safe crossing times

05:40 – 12:55 / 18:15 – 01:00 (Mon)

Please respect the tides! Don’t leave it too late, follow all instructions, and most of all, double check on the official tide timetable website – we DON’T want you getting stranded!

Lindisfarne Tide Schedule

Talks

(‘Full Festival’ Ticket-holders only)

Registration opens: You’ll already have done this on Saturday!

Talks begin: 09:45

Talks end: 17:30

Fringe events

(Full Festival and Fringe ticket-holders only)

Registration opens: 09:15 am

Events begin: 10:00

Events end: 17:00

Dig & Finds Lab Experiences

If you are booked onto the morning session

Registration: 09:15

Begins: 10:00

Ends: 13:00

 

If you are booked onto the afternoon session

Registration: Anytime from 09:15

Begins: 14:00

Ends: 17:00

 

Please note: you’ll need to arrive promptly for the start of your experience at the Dig site or Finds Room as you’ll need to complete a briefing with the rest of your group.

Where to park, register, see the talks, attend the Fringe, get food, go digging... and more!

Parking

There is a large car park on the island just as you reach the end of the causeway. It is very clearly signposted and you really can’t miss it! It’s just a five minute walk from the car park to the village.

Please do not park in the village unless absolutely necessary – spaces are incredibly limited and it can be a nuisance to residents.

Venues

DigNation Venues Map

Registration, talks and Fringe events are all located by the Main Festival Venue (Crossman Hall). Everything else will be clearly signposted!

Speaker Lineup & Bios

‘Full Festival’ ticketholders get entry to the Main Festival Venue (Crossman Hall) to see our hand-picked programme of talks. The DigNation 2018 speakers include some of the loveliest, most knowledgeable and downright fantastic archaeologists (and historians!) we know. Even better, most of them have worked alongside Mick, been taught by him, and inspired by him in their own work.

Each session in the speaker programme is themed around one of Mick’s main research interests: Monastic Archaeology, Medieval Settlements, Landscape Archaeology, and Public Archaeology and Science.

The Lineup

Saturday 22nd September 2018
TIDES: safe to cross 04:35 – 12:30 / 17:20 – 00:35 (Sun)
Registration opens at 08:00 at the Main Festival Venue (Crossman Hall)
09:15 Intro & Housekeeping
09:30 Sir Tony Robinson, Welcome and Opening Remarks
10:00 Julian Richards, Special Keynote
Session 1: Monastic Archaeology
11:00 – 11:45 Dr David Petts, Lindisfarne
12:00 – 12:45 Dr Helen Geake, ‘Powerful Anglo-Saxon Women Seen Through Their Artefacts: abbesses, princesses, both or neither?’
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
Session 2: Medieval Settlements
14:00 – 14:45 Professor Chris Gerrard, ‘Shapwick and Memories of Mick’
15:00 – 15:45 Teresa Hall, Winscombe Village Survey
16:00 – 16:45 Professor Carenza Lewis, The Black Death
17:00 – 18:00 Special Roundtable Discussion
Sir Tony Robinson, Phil Harding, John Gater, Dr Helen Geake, Chris Gerrard, Carenza Lewis, Dr Mike Heyworth MBE, Francis Pryor, Julian Richards
18:00 Bar Opens
19:30 Band!
23:00 Party Finishes
Sunday 23rd September 2018
TIDES: safe to cross 05:40 – 12:55 / 18:15 – 01:00 (Mon)
09:45 Intro & Housekeeping
10:00 Chris Casswell, Head of Fieldwork, DigVentures. Update from the trenches!
Session 3: Landscape Archaeology
10:30 – 11:15 Francis Pryor MBE, Flag Fen and Must Farm
11:30 – 12:15 Dr John Gater (Geofizz, of course!)
12:30 – 13:15 Professor Stewart Ainsworth, North Penines LIDAR
13:30 – 14:30 – Lunch
Session 4: Public Archaeology & Science
14:30 – 15:15 Dr Helen Geake, ‘Mick and Metal Detecting’
15:30 – 16:15 Professor Chris Gerrard, ‘Lost Lives, New Worlds: Unlocking the story of the Scottish soldiers buried on Palace Green’
16:30 – 17:00 Dan Snow, History Hit
17:00 – 17:30  Julian Richards, What’s next for telly archaeology?
17:30 – 17:45 Sir Tony Robinson, closing remarks

Our DigNation Speakers

Sir Tony Robinson

Over the last few decades Tony Robinson has emerged as Britain’s foremost face of popular history, the creator of a worldwide comedy icon, and an award winning writer of children’s books and television.

Tony presented twenty seasons of Channel 4’s archaeology series ‘Time Team’, and played Baldrick in ‘Blackadder’. He has been involved in many other television series and documentaries as a writer, producer and presenter, most recently the recent Channel 4 series ‘Time Crashers’. He is currently working on ‘The Somme – The First Twenty-four Hours’ for Discovery.

Tony is an award-winning children’s writer with over thirty authored books, including his current series for Macmillan, Tony Robinson’s Weird World of Wonders. He has also written several books for adults including Tony Robinson’s History of Australia, and he has recently published his autobiography, No Cunning Plan.

From 1996 – 2000 he was Vice-President of British Actors Equity. Between 2000 and 2004 he was a member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party. In 2012 he was made a Fellow of Cardiff University, has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by Exeter University, Oxford Brookes, the Open University and the University of Chester, and has Honorary MAs from Bristol University and the University of East London. In 2008 he was presented with the ‘Outstanding Contribution by an Individual’ award by the Museums and Heritage Association, and the James Joyce award by University College, Dublin. He has been an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society since 2008, and received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2013.

Julian Richards

Julian Richards is an archaeologist, writer and TV broadcaster. He was a key figure in writing and broadcasting the popular BBC 4 series Meet the Ancestors. Julian has recently been back on TV with a new series called Stories From the Dark Earth: Meet the Ancestors Revisited. Much of Julian’s career has focused around British Prehistory, for a decade he ran the Stonehenge Environs Project with Wessex Archaeology, a detailed study of Stonehenge and its surrounding landscape. Julian went on to author Stonehenge – the story so far.

While at Wessex Archaeology, Julian taught as much as he could, mainly working with Bristol University Continuing Education, where he met Mick Aston. Mick and Julian taught summer schools for blind students dealing with a diverse range of subjects, from war and conflict archaeology, to the prehistory of Wessex. Julian is still involved in education projects such as What’s Under Your School?, a programme teaching children about archaeology. Outside of archaeology Julian’s interests lie in art and old fast cars but most importantly of all, he holds a Blue Peter badge!

Julian says he has never for a moment regretted his choice of career and continues to find the past a fascinating place to explore.

Dr David Petts

A senior lecturer at Durham University, David is an expert in the Archaeology of Northern England. His main research interests focus on the social archaeology of the 1st Millennia AD and the development of Christianity. Part of this entails carrying out fieldwork at the site of an Anglo-Saxon monastery on Holy Island, in collaboration with DigVentures. He also runs a number of other fieldwork projects including the major field school at the Roman Fort at Binchester Co. Durham. A key component of his work encompasses ensuring the local community groups are involved in the archaeology and helping them understand their heritage.

“There is still so much to find, in archaeology we continue to make new discoveries and develop fresh understandings about even the most well-trodden areas. I’ve come to realise that life is so much more than making money and live in a world where history is always with us.”

Dr Janina Ramirez

Dr. Janina Ramirez is a cultural historian, broadcaster and author based at the University of Oxford.

Janina’s career began with her Bachelors Degree at the University of Oxford in English Literature, she then went on to study an MA and PhD at the Centre for Medieval Studies at York. Her postgraduate studies focussed on the art, literature and culture of Anglo-Saxon England, and her interests have continued to branch out ever since and she can boast of detailed knowledge on everything from classical architecture to the symbolism of birds in Anglo-Saxon art.

Janina uses television, radio, publications and social media to share her knowledge to, in her words, ‘everyone who cares to listen’. Janina embraces the Digital Revolution and continues to welcome new methods of communication and ways of interacting with non-traditional audiences worldwide through digital media. She has presented numerous BBC Four documentaries including Treasures of the Anglo-Saxons and The Hundred Years’ War.

Professor Chris Gerrard

Professor Christopher Gerrard has a joint honours degree in Archaeology and Geology, and PhD from the University of Bristol under the supervision of Professor Mick Aston and Richard Harrison. Chris has worked in commercial archaeology in both Spain and the UK. He started lecturing in 1992 at Winchester University, and in 2000 he joined the archaeology department at Durham University.  

At Durham, Chris leads the research team that worked on identifying and analysing the remains of the Scottish soldiers found under Palace Green Library Cafe (Durham Cathedral). Chris has directed fieldwork with the Mick Aston at Shapwick. He has also worked in North-East Spain for many years and has a particular interest in the transition from Islamic to Christian societies and their landscapes. Chris is regularly published in academic journals and books on all of his discoveries across Europe.

Dr Helen Geake

Helen Geake had originally trained to become a secretary, however, after reading about archaeology and attending lectures by Mick Aston her passion for the subject was ignited and she decided to study medieval archaeology at University College London. She was fortunate enough to join the excavation at Sutton Hoo as an undergraduate. Hands up if you’re jealous!

Helen’s love for archaeology inspired her to continue her studies at the University of York where she obtained a PhD researching Anglo-Saxon cemeteries. Helen’s first appeared in the public eye in 1998 when she joined Time Team. She was a main presenter for the show and was Time Team’s expert on anything Anglo-Saxon. Since Time Team Helen has also presented on ITV’s Britain’s Secret Treasures, and she has also played a key role at the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s base at the British Museum, training and supporting volunteer recorders.

Both her on screen and behind the scenes work connect archaeological research with public understanding of its importance, interest and value.

Teresa Hall

Teresa Hall is the long-term partner and co-worker of Mick Aston. Teresa is a landscape historian and has an interest in the early church.

She has continued the Winscombe Village Survey that was started by Mick, which includes the digging of test pits throughout the village to trace the varied fortunes of the surrounding villages. Mick’s work continues, and his legacy lives on through Teresa.

 

 

 

 

 

Professor Carenza Lewis

Professor Carenza Lewis is based at the University of Lincoln, and is a familiar face to many due to her television appearances, notably being regular presenter on Time Team from 1993 to 2005. She cleverly combines her research with teaching in archaeology, history and heritage with public engagement.

Carenza is committed to involving members of the public in the research process to the shared benefit of the individuals, community, society, heritage and academia. The discovery of an ichthyosaur vertebrae (a type of marine dinosaur) when she was 7 years old set her on the path to becoming an archaeologist. She tries to recreate this wonderful opportunity for young people by creating the Higher Education Field Academy, encouraging them to get their hands dirty and get a taste of academia through a hunt for history beneath their feet.

“Archaeology is just the best subject in the world, it never loses its ability to intrigue, surprise, puzzle and enthral me”

Dr. Mike Heyworth MBE

Dr. Mike Heyworth MBE discovered his love for archaeology aged 14 after taking part in an archaeological dig. He knew from then on that archaeology was the career for him. He joined a local archaeology group and would dig at weekends and during the summer.

Mike’s early start to his career paid off and he became Director of the Council for British Archaeology (CBA). The CBA is an independent charity that brings together members, supporters and partners to give archaeology a voice across the UK and safeguard it for future generations.

Mike is also involved with many other archaeological organisations; including the All Party Parliamentary Archaeology Group and Portable Antiquities Scheme Advisory Group. Mike is a vocal advocate for digital archaeology and has been directly involved with many of the technologies that make it possible, such as the Archaeology Data Service. Mike was awarded his MBE for services to heritage in 2007

Phil Harding

Phil Harding is a British field archaeologist. He became a household name due to being a regular on Channel 4’s TV series Time Team from 1994 to 2013. As a young boy he became fascinated with the Stone Age, learning flint knapping from his uncle Fred. His first archaeological finds came from digging up his own backyard, much to his mother’s annoyance.

Phil’s relentless enthusiasm for archaeology has undeniably inspired countless others to enter the discipline. Bringing this enthusiasm, and his hat, to the public eye through Time Team he has secured a lasting legacy by cementing archaeology in the public consciousness He was voted Archaeologist of the Year in 2013 by the readers of Current Archaeology Magazine.

“Thank-you everyone for expressing an interest in archaeology. Sharing our love for the past is what it is all about and it helps keep archaeology alive”

Francis Pryor MBE

Francis began his career by training as an archaeologist at Trinity College, Cambridge. He describes his student experience as “three wonderful years being a typical 60’s student”. He initially worked at a brewery before emigrating to Canada and landing a job at the Royal Ontario Museum. This led to his most well known discovery and excavation of Flag Fen. He made frequent appearances on Channel 4’s Time Team.

Francis has successfully brings archaeology to a wider audience through a number of wonderful books, radio and television programs. Now a retired archaeologist he has turned to a quieter life of sheep farming, writing and blogging. He has also recently embarked upon crowdfunding his own series of crime fiction novels through Unbound.

“Lighten up- archaeology is too important to be taken seriously”

Professor Stewart Ainsworth

Professor Stewart Ainsworth is currently based at the University of Chester, and was formerly a senior investigator and project officer for English Heritage. He originally trained as a surveyor, before he joined the archaeological section of the Ordnance Survey.

He made appearances on Time Team he was affectionately known as the ‘lumps and bumps’ man as he is a landscape archaeologist and specialises in surveying, recording and investigating archaeological sites.

He is president of the Friends of Epiacum, the Roman fort on the southern edge of Northumberland, which he has surveyed and studied in depth.

Dr John Gater

John Gater was a staple of Time Team for 20 years, earning him the nickname the “geophys wiz”. He once calculated that he and the Time Team crew had walked the equivalent distance from the earth to the moon with geophysics equipment.

As part of the team he played an important role in educating the British public on the role of science in archeology and made many of Time Team’s discoveries possible. In this role John was able to draw on a wealth of experience, as he completed his first geophysical survey a stunning 45 years ago.

After graduating from Bradford University in 1979 he entered commercial archeology and is still active in this field, holding the role of Director of Archeology at SUMO Geophysics, the largest company of this type in the UK. He has also written a book in on archaeological geophysics in cooperation with Chris Gaffney (Revealing the Buried Past). Despite all these remarkable professional achievements in the realm of archeology, it is rumoured that his true passion is Real Ale.

Dr Ben Garrod

Ben Garrod is an evolutionary biologist, primatologist and broadcaster. He is currently a teaching fellow at Anglia Ruskin University and completed his PhD on the ‘Primates of the Caribbean’ at UCL. Over the past decade he has been prolific on British television, helping educate the public and presenting shows such as Secrets of the Bones on BBC Four and Attenborough and the Great Dinosaur.

He is also a successful author, having written the So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs series, aimed at ‘young dinosaur enthusiasts’. He has also published extensively in the academic world, primarily in the fields of primatology and osteoarchaeology. Ben’s work has taken him all across the globe, especially on projects to protect great apes. Outside of his work Ben is active in number of charitable organisations and is a trustee of the Jane Goodall society.

Dan Snow

Dan is a historian who has researched, written and presented several documentaries on British and world history for the BBC, including the BAFTA award winning Battlefield Britain. Dan says he was immersed in the idea of presenting from a young age, starting with family video ‘documentaries’ and pieces to the camera outside the Pyramids, or on the Champs-Elysees, at age 5.

In an interview for HistoryNet.com he says “I consider myself someone who eats, sleeps and breathes history. I write it, read it, research it, tweet it, Facebook it, film it, record it, speak it”. Just as his twitter handle @TheHistoryGuy, asserts he aims to one day be the go-to guy for all things history. He believes that the digital medium is great for history as a discipline as it is so flexible and makes history so immediate.

“History is where the present and the future come from”

The Fringe is the heart and soul of every good festival, and we’ve really put our back into it to make sure DigNation is no exception!

All of these events will be happening in and around the Crossman Hall across the DigNation weekend. More details about exact timings will be made available at Registration.

First and most important, you will see *LIVE* archaeology happening! DV has been digging on Lindisfarne for two years, and this season the archaeology is looking HOT. Our trenches will be open during the Festival, and you’ll be able to see our team in action – and who knows? There might be some familiar faces in the trenches who just can’t keep themselves away from the chance to have a wee scratch about…

The Finds Room will be in full swing with the artefacts recovered from DV’s excavations over the past two years, including our famous namestone. We’ll have a handling collection for everyone to touch, and experts on hand to answer your questions. Don’t be shy!

And that’s not all: experts from the Portable Antiquities Scheme will be on hand to identify artefacts (found something mysterious in your garden? Bring it!), there’s a a Street Food festival, the epic DigNation Saturday party, book signings, castle and museum tours, archaeological comedy, plenty of music, aerial landscape photogrammetry demonstrations, digital recording of artefacts, geophysics demonstrations and participation, and (hopefully!) a Young Archaeologist’s Club very special ‘Kids Trench’, and (possibly) some Vikings (shhhh!)

We know that many of you missed out on the Full Festival Ticket to see the lectures, and we’ve got FANTASTIC NEWS: some of our speakers will be joining is for special ‘Follow the Speaker’ sessions, where you’ll be able to meet them and ask questions.

And, you’re sure to see some of your favourite archaeologists wandering about – don’t hesitate to say hello!

Lindisfarne is a magical place, with a fascinating history and plenty of natural beauty. The island is full of secret nooks and wonderful walks, and makes a truly lovely day out for families. We’re adding more to the Fringe every day – STAY TUNED, and we hope you join us!

 

 

Here's just a taste of some of our confirmed Fringe activities...

*Live* archaeological excavation and Finds Lab

BOOM! You’re coming to an archaeology festival, so… you want to see some archaeology, right?! We’ve got you covered!

Some of the discoveries our team have made over the past two years of excavation on Lindisfarne are so significant that they have featured in the Guardian, The Times, The Daily Mail and on BBC4’s Digging For Britain programme – the very first time any crowdfunded discovery had been featured on the show. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We’ve found several Anglo-Saxon burials, a namestone, a monumental wall, the outline of several early medieval buildings, plenty of pottery, and a silver coin minted during the reign of King Eadberht, as well as some curious bone artefacts which seem to be proof that some people continued to live on the island long after the monastery was supposedly abandoned.

We know there’s so much more to discover, and the archaeology we’re poised to unearth in 2018 has the potential to offer huge insight into the lives of those who lived through Lindisfarne’s golden age, endured the Viking attacks and witnessed this transformative period in English history.

As part of the DigNation Fringe, our trenches and Finds Lab will be open all weekend for you to visit and see the action *LIVE* as it happens. We’ll have all the star finds from previous years on display – and as everyone knows, the best stuff always happens in the last hour of the last day of the dig…

The Monster Ceilidh Band

The Monster Ceilidh Band

Monster Ceilidh Band seamlessly blend electronic dance music with traditional folk music and manage to encourage diverse audiences from all over the world to get up and party! Their pioneering mix of Drum ‘n Bass with Traditional Folk has been endorsed by outstanding live performances at award-winning festivals such as Bestival and Secret Garden Party, alongside more familiar folk offering such as Sidmouth and Cambridge Folk Festivals. “The Monsters” now do fully electronic ceilidhs as first showcased at Cambridge Folk Festival with the UK’s leading caller Gordon Potts.

“It’s alive!”
**** Songlines

“An unbeatable live experience”
**** R2

“A leap into the future” fRoots

“Monster Ceilidh Band hurls tradition into the 21st century” Driftwood Magazine (USA)

Follow the Speaker and Book Signings

Hooray! As part of the Fringe, several of our speakers will be doing book signings and participating in ‘Follow the Speaker’ sessions.

Tickets for the lectures theatre were extremely limited and we know that many of you missed out on the chance to grab one. The ‘Follow the Speaker’ sessions are our way of creating an opportunity for you to meet them, ask some questions, share stories, and have a laugh! We will be posting a schedule of the times for each speaker in the lobby of the Crossman Hall each morning, so that you can plan accordingly.

We are very honoured that two of Mick’s closest collaborators, Sir Tony Robinson and Professor Chris Gerrard, will both be doing book signings as part of the Fringe. Please feel free to bring along any of their titles you might already own, and we will also have a slection on sale at the festival for purchase and signing. There’s a couple of other speakers with fairly impressive back catalogs as well and we’re doing our best to twist their arm a little bit….stay tuned!

Lindisfarne Castle and Priory Museum Tours

Lindisfarne’s top two heritage attractions are the Castle, operated by the National Trust, and the Priory Museum, which is run by English Heritage.

As part of the DigNation Fringe, special discounted tours will be offered to both locations at various times across the festival weekend. More information and instructions about how to sign up will be available at Registration.

Archaeological Comedy

Paul Duncan McGarrity

Paul began performing stand up in 2009 and since then has been combining his day-job as a Senior Archaeologist with Museum of London Archaeology with his growing popularity on the UK comedy circuit. He has supported Hal Cruttenden on tour, appeared on on Radio 4, he has been a main cast member in the hugely successful ‘Knightmare Live’ stage show.

‘The hour seemed to fly-by and I felt myself really wanting to stay and hear more.’
Broadwaybaby.com

Aerial landscape photogrammetry and artefact 3D digital recording

Photogrammetry has quickly become one of the most essential skills in the 21st-century archaeologists’ toolbag: from trench orthophotos to 3D artefacts, photogrammetry has revolutionised how we work and helped us to do our jobs better.

But not all photogrammatisers (we know it’s not a real word but hey, you know what we mean!) are created equal, and luckily our team works with the very best: Adam Stanford of Aerial-Cam. Adam’s 30 years of experience combines traditional photography skills with cutting-edge digital technologies. He has photographed some of the world’s most iconic sites, including Orkney, Stonehenge and Easter Island, and is involved with many UK-based commercial and research archaeology projects. Adam’s portfolio is a thing of beauty!

DV has worked with Adam across all of our sites from Flag Fen to Victoria Cave, Barrowed Time, Lindisfarne and beyond. The aerial landscape images he captures are an essential part of our work, helpng us to understand each site in its wider context and pick up details impossible to see from the ground.

As part of the DigNation Fringe, Adam will be offering demonstrations, showcasing his work from sites around the world, and giving us all a sneak peek at what’s coming next for archaeolgical photography. Lucky us!

Geofizz whizz, Jimmy Adcock!

In the world of archaeology, Jimmy Adcock really needs no introduction – his reputation precedes him!

All kidding aside, Jimmy is one of the best geofizz whizzes in the business. After many years on John Gater’s Time Team geophysics squad, Jimmy has now moved on to working for an international company that designs and tests new technology for archaeological geophysics, so Jimmy spends his time road-testing (and field-testing, jungle-testing, snow-testing, etc etc) the hottest kit around.

As part of the DigNation Fringe, Jimmy will be surprising us with the latest in geofizz gear, and will be rolling it out across our excavation area so that we can compare how advances in tech are improving the resulst for archaeologists of these non-invasive techniques. You’ll be able to watch him in action and even join in if you fancy it!

Street Food Festival

NOM NOM NOM! We’re working with local purveyors of sunshine in a glass, Lindisfarne Mead, to bring a fine selection of the North East’s street food vendors to DigNation.

The booths will be open for most of the day – through dinner as well – so if you haven’t arranged a table at one of the pubs, you will still have plenty of tasty morsels to sustain you through the weekend.

Remeber: there are NO ATMs on Lindisfarne! Please come prepared with all the cash you might need for food and beverages.

Get ready for some fun!

From the very beginning of planning DigNation, Tony was clear that there HAD to be a bar and a band, because Mick loved a party. And who are we to argue?!

We’ve taken Tony’s challenge to heart and arranged an electrofolkmaggedon complete with a band, a bar in our new signature inflatable ‘Venture Inn’ pub, and a surprise archaeological DJ spinning end-of-the-night tunes.

And in the tradition of all DV parties, we probably won’t be *too* upset if you decide to bring a few items of fancy dress…

The bar opens at 6:00pm and the party will start at 7:30pm on Saturday, and everyone who has a ticket for the lectures or either day of the Fringe is welcome to join us – just be sure to wear your badge to gain entry!

The Monster Ceilidh Band

Monster Ceilidh Band seamlessly blend electronic dance music with traditional folk music and manage to encourage diverse audiences from all over the world to get up and party! Their pioneering mix of Drum ‘n Bass with Traditional Folk has been endorsed by outstanding live performances at award-winning festivals such as Bestival and Secret Garden Party, alongside more familiar folk offering such as Sidmouth and Cambridge Folk Festivals. “The Monsters” now do fully electronic ceilidhs as first showcased at Cambridge Folk Festival with the UK’s leading caller Gordon Potts.

“It’s alive!”
**** Songlines

“An unbeatable live experience”
**** R2

“A leap into the future” fRoots

“Monster Ceilidh Band hurls tradition into the 21st century” Driftwood Magazine (USA)

In AD635, King Oswald founded a monastery on the tiny island of Lindisfarne. From humble beginnings, it soon became the religious powerhouse at the heart of the great Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria, and the wellspring of England’s Christianity.

The joint project between DigVentures and Durham University has now located some of its remains.

Made famous by chroniclers like Bede and Alcuin (and more recently by the popular TV show Vikings), it’s where the Lindisfarne Gospels were illustrated, where the treasures that adorned the altars of early Medieval Europe were forged, and where thousands of miracle-seeking pilgrims came to seek healing. Lindisfarne’s power and influence reached deep into the heart of continental Europe, and was described by Alcuin as ‘the most venerable place in Britain’.

But then, an AD793, the monastery was attacked by the Vikings, an event that marked the beginning of the Viking Age. Following years of repeated attacks, the monastery was abandoned. The later Priory which still stands on Lindisfarne was built in the early 12th century after the threat of further raids was over. But what of the remains of the original monastery?

From early maps and other documentary evidence, we can assume that most of the early monastery is likely to lie underneath the modern Holy Island Village. But there are still some very big questions to answer: where exactly was it, and does any evidence still survive?

In 2014, Dr David Petts of Durham University carried out geophysical surveys which indicated substantial remains just beneath the field immediately in front of the Priory: could this be the evidence of the monastery? Our job was to ground-truth the geophysics and find conclusive, dateable evidence from the monastery of Oswald, Aidan and Cuthbert.

Over the last two years, hundreds of crowdfunders have helped us find some tantalising evidence, including several early Christian burials, Anglo-Saxon sculptures and monumental buildings very similar to those at other important early Medieval monastic sites like Hartlepool.

Some of the discoveries our team have made are so significant that they featured in the Guardian, The Times, The Daily Mail and on BBC4’s Digging For Britain programme – this was the very first time any crowdfunded discovery had been featured on the show.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We’ve found several Anglo-Saxon burials, a namestone, a monumental wall, the outline of several early medieval buildings, plenty of pottery, and a silver coin minted during the reign of King Eadberht, as well as some curious bone artefacts which seem to be proof that some people continued to live on the island long after the monastery was supposedly abandoned.

We know there’s so much more to discover, and the archaeology we’re poised to unearth in 2018 has the potential to offer huge insight into the world of those who lived through Lindisfarne’s golden age, endured the Viking attacks and witnessed this transformative period in English history.

Hello, lovely worldwide audience!

Hooray! We’ve sent out your Virtual Ticket logins. Just click here and enter the password we gave you.

Going to miss some of the talks? Don’t worry – you’ll be able to re-watch the talks online once the festival is over.

Also, please remember that we are in a remote location IN THE NORTH SEA, and that extreme weather events and other issues can sometimes affect internet services on the island.

If something interrupts the livestream, we will upload copies of any talks that were missed as soon as the internet is back up and running. Fingers crossed we don’t get another Storm Ali!

Are there cash points on Lindisfarne?

Excellent question! The answer is NO. Please plan ahead and bring any cash you might need!

There is no ATM on the island, however you can get cash over the counter at the Post Office. Please be aware that some places on the island are cash only, and the Post Office operates on regular business hours.

Will it rain?

Glad you asked… The answer is PROBABLY! Make sure you bring waterproofs,  warm clothes, and shoes that can deal with wet grass and mud.

Like any festival, some of the events will be sheltered, but you will also be spending time outdoors and exposed to the elements. And remember: Lindisfarne is a tidal island in the North Sea, so the weather is likely to be changeable, if not blustery…

When will I get my Festival tickets?

We aren’t sending out paper or e-tickets. You will receive your entry badge when your arrive at Registration. Please check the ‘Arrival & Registration’ tab for timings.

 

When will I get my ticket for the Virtual Festival?

We have sent out your Virtual Festival passwords. Check your inbox, check your junk folder!

To login, just click here.

VERY IMPORTANT: We sent the emails to the email addresses you used to purchase your ticket. If this is not a current address or one that you check regularly, you MUST get in touch with our team prior to the event to provide updated information. We WILL NOT be able to answer emails or help you once the livestream begins on Saturday 22nd September.

How can I sign in to watch the live stream?

We have sent out your Virtual Festival passwords. Check your inbox, check your junk folder!

To login, just click here.

VERY IMPORTANT: We sent the emails to the email addresses you used to purchase your ticket. If this is not a current address or one that you check regularly, you MUST get in touch with our team prior to the event to provide updated information. We WILL NOT be able to answer emails or help you once the livestream begins on Saturday 22nd September.

Will I be able to watch the talks after the festival is over?

ABSOLUTELY!

All conference talks will be available after the festival as downloadable, closed-captioned podcasts.

We will have every WiFi-signal-missile-launching-boosting-hear-us-in-space system on hand to be as prepared as humans can possibly be for the livestream to smoothly. Given its remote location IN THE NORTH SEA, however, extreme weather events and other issues can sometimes affect services on the island. In the event of unforseen circumstances that affect our ability to transmit the livestream, we will be in touch with everyone with updates, and we will make all the talks affected by the droppage available as podcasts ASAP.

I have a Fringe ticket, can I come to the party?

You betcha! Fringe ticket holders are welcome to join us for the party. Just be sure to bring your badge.

If you have a ticket for the Fringe on Sunday and haven’t yet been through registration, be sure to come to the island early enough to stop by the Registration Desk to pick it up.

What are the options for food on Lindisfarne?

Good question! You will need to plan ahead as the pubs and cafes get booked up weeks in advance. Call now!

Pubs and hotels on the island offering meals: Crown & Anchor, the Ship, the Lindisfarne Hotel and the Manor House hotel

We have planned a Street Food Festival for the weekend, so there will be plenty of delicious, seasonal food for purchase from local vendor for both lunch and dinner.

If you can’t get a table for your evening meal, most of the pubs and restaurants will do take-away; additionally, you can shop on the mainland and bring food with you to the island.

No matter what you decide, please be respectful of the village and ensure you throw your rubbish away in the bins!

 

Plan Your Travel

PLEASE BE VERY AWARE OF THE TIDE SCHEDULE!

We have planned DigNation timings very carefully so that everyone will have plenty of time to get on and off the island. Don’t get caught by the tide!

Lindisfarne Tide Schedule

Our staff are on hand to advise you regarding travel through the end of day on Friday 21st September, but will not be able to answer queries during the festival. Here’s some basics to help you plan ahead:

Address: Holy Island, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland, TD15 2SH

OS map ref: NU 13636 41752

By rail: The nearest mainline station is at Berwick-upon-Tweed on the London (Kings Cross) to Edinburgh GNER line. There is a public bus service to the island but the frequency varies. There are also several taxi services (telephone numbers provided below)

By road: Take the A1 to the crossroad at Beal approximately 8 miles south of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Follow the signposts to `Holy Island’, about five miles away. You’ll then have to drive over the causeway, which takes about 15 minutes.

By Bus: check here for seasonal timetables for the 477 bus

Taxis:

G.D, Taxis – Berwick-upon-Tweed – 01289 308842

Woody’s Taxis – Berwick-upon-Tweed – 07591 933223

Hunters Taxis – Seahouses – 01665 720400

Parks Hire – Seahouses – 01665 720542

 

 

 

What's the situation with parking?

There is a large car park on the island just as you reach the end of the causeway. It is very clearly signposted and you really can’t miss it! It’s just a five minute walk from the car park to the village.

Please do not park in the village unless absolutely necessary – spaces are incredibly limited and it can be a nuisance to residents.

I don't have a ticket, can I come to Lindisfarne?

Of course you can, silly!

You don’t need a ticket to visit Lindisfarne, or to see our team in action in the trenches. Come on over! The island is an absolutely stunning place to spend a wonderful day. You will be able to view the dig and Finds Lab, and take advantage of the delicious street food market as well as the local shops, pubs and walks.

Festival activities will be exclusively for people with tickets. Full tickets including the lectures have now sold out, however you can still get in on the action with a Fringe Ticket or with a Virtual Ticket.

One of our staff will be in touch as soon as you book to make sure you have all the info you need!

BUY YOUR TICKET

Can I bring my kids? How many children can I bring?

Entry to the conference sessions is very limited, so you cannot bring your under-12 children into the talks without a ticket for them as well.

There are also a limited number of tickets to the Fringe, which means that your ticket includes entry for under-12 children in your family only.

Can I bring my dog?

The main festival venue, the Crossman Hall, only permits registered assistance dogs, so please do bear this in mind if you decide to bring your canine friend to the island. Most other places on the island are dog friendly and there are plenty of outdoor spaces for walks and sniffs!

Can you give me advice about accommodation?

We’ve put together a fairly comprehensive guide to accommodation below:

Holy Island is a very popular tourist destination and in the summer months, hotels and guest houses book up extremely quickly. We recommend that you book your accommodation as soon as possible.

Hotels, Guest Houses and B&Bs

There are many places to rent a room on Holy Island. There is a great website to help you start looking for a place to stay here.

On the mainland there are many places to choose from. The closest accommodation to the island is the Lindisfarne Inn, but a simple online search will turn up many options in the area.

Camping

There is strictly no camping allowed on Lindisfarne, but there are some great camp sites nearby on the mainland.

Some of the DigVentures team will be at the Barn at Beal

We also recommend Budle Bay Campsite

Can I camp on the island?

NO, nein, nada, oxi! Please don’t try it.

Holy Island is a close-knit community, and the NO CAMPING policy is something they are very clear about. We really don’t want to upset them. Please check the accommodation suggestions above for places where you can camp or stay nearby.

What does my ticket include?

‘Full Festival’ Ticket: entry to all festival venues and party, access to downloadable podcasts of festival talk, but NOT entry to Dig or Finds Lab Experiences

Fringe Ticket: entry to all Fringe venues and party, access to Follow the Speaker sessions, access to downloadable podcasts of festival talks

Dig / Finds Lab Experiences: these must be pre-booked and bought separately from all other tickets

Virtual Ticket: entry to livestream event, access to downloadable podcasts of festival talks

 

 

Sign up to DigMail

No nonsense. Just dig alerts and the insider's view on the week's biggest archaeological discoveries.

CLOSE