Star line-up for event at Salisbury Museum

Star line-up for event at Salisbury Museum

Published by Mike Draper at 4:01am 13th July 2019.

'The biggest, oldest, most popular and diverse' is the best way to describe aspects of this year's Festival of Archaeology.

For the fifth year, it will be crammed with well-known faces, activities for all the family, fascinating talks and news from the latest developments in archaeology, all set in the beautiful grounds and nationally designated collections of The Salisbury Museum.


  • Helen Wass, Head of Heritage on the HS2 rail project bringing news from the country's biggest ever archaeology project
  • Christie Willis investigating Stonehenge's numerous Neolithic cremation burials
  • Wessex Archaeology's Simon Cleggett detailing their vast project which has revealed a timeline of archaeology whilst working for the military in preparation for the new army basing on the edge of Salisbury Plain
  • The Museum is also hosting Archaeologist of the year, Richard Osgood, who will be representing 'Operation Nightingale' and their work to rescue an extensive Anglo Saxon cemetery on Salisbury Plain from badgers

Every year the festival attracts well known faces from television, and this year is no different with Mary-Ann Ochota coming along to discuss her book 'Hidden Histories: A Spotter's Guide to the British Landscape'. It's said to be a brilliant source of reference for anyone with a curiosity for their surroundings.

Also from the TV is Dr Alex Langlands who, as well as creating a 'dig HQ' in the museum to display the findings of his 2019 Old Sarum Environs project, will be giving an exclusive talk on the finds just a day after the dig is completed.


A new twist is being added to this year's event, for the first time, a stand-up comic.

Well known comedian, Ella Al-Shamahi, is stood and is holding a human skull in one hand at eye level and facing at it with a very inquisitive expression and wide eyes. She will be sharing her PhD research into Neanderthals and their DNA at the Salisbury museum festival of archaeology.
Comedian, Ella Al-Shamahi, will be sharing her PhD research into Neanderthals and their DNA

Ella Al-Shamahi, the well known comedian, will be coming along to share her PhD research into Neanderthals and their DNA.

When not studying or gigging in Britain, Ella has a reputation for taking her research into conflict zones around the world, climbing into Palaeolithic cave dwellings in regions swarming with land mines and insurgents.


To close the Festival weekend there'll be a talk by museum Director, Adrian Green and finds specialist Lorraine Mepham, reporting on the findings from Dr Phil Harding's dig at the museum on 6 May. Enigmatically entitled 'More Cakes and Buns! Digging the Foundations of the Café' and with film footage from the dig.

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