Festival of Archaeology: Talk

Hidden Patterns in the South Dorset Landscape | Jonathan Harwood

29 July 2022, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

The positions of churches in the South Dorset Landscape, when connected together by straight lines (drawn from church symbol to church symbol on a map at a scale of 1:25,000) reveal deliberate and meaningful patterns.

Jonathan began to explore these patterns in 1997 and, over the years, has carefully considered whether these arrangements of churches in the landscape could be the result of chance. This would be the most obvious explanation since, apart from anything else, it seems out of the question that surveying techniques in Antiquity would have been up to the job. We have a strong tendency, however, to underestimate the capabilities of our ancestors.

In this talk, Jonathan explores his hypothesis that one particularly remarkable pattern encapsulates the, to us, very curious beliefs and practices of Gnostic Christians who were present amongst the villa-owning elite in Dorset during the Roman period.

In the 17th century, a group of puritans in Dorchester pursued a project to transform the town into the ‘New Jerusalem’. More than a thousand years before it seems that another group was motivated to imprint a scaled-up version of the floor plan of the Holy of Holies of the Temple of Solomon onto the Dorset landscape.

 

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    Sunday: 10.00am - 4.00pm
    Bank Holidays: 10.00am - 4.00pm

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Jonathan Harwood

Jonathan has a degree in Social Anthropology and spent 29 years in HM Land Registry. He is now retired and lives in Weymouth with his wife and two cats. He enjoys researching, writing, painting and playing the lute.


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Home of Hillforts & Henges is an exciting new event from 21st to 31st July that will celebrate Dorchester’s neolithic and iron age landscape, rich in earthworks and the people that have lived here for over 6,000 years.

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Co-ordinated by the Council for British Archaeology, the Festival offers hundreds of events nationwide, organised by museums, heritage organisations, national and country parks, universities, local societies, and community archaeologists.

The Festival of Archaeology will take place between 16 – 31 July 2022.

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Special Exhibition

28 May – 30 October 2022

Take a fresh look at the Victorian novelist and poet, Thomas Hardy, in the stunning Wessex landscapes that shaped his view of the world. His story will be retold in exciting new ways by our museum collections, from period costumes to personal letters, art to archaeology.

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FULLY BOOKED

17 June - 11 July 2022, 10:00am - 1:00pm

Hardy’s Wessex: Drawing on the ancient past

This six-week course led by artist Helen Garrett will take you on a creative journey through Thomas Hardy’s work, inspirations and Dorset Museum’s collections.

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Community Exhibition

20 June – 16 September 2022

Plastics are not Fantastic

In this exhibition students from Weymouth College express their thoughts about the environment through posters, pledges and artwork.

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Family Activity

3 July 2022, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Sunday ArtyFacts

Create your own Victorian silhouette and Victorian style frame. Make your own drawn or painted Victorian portrait based inspired by the Hardy's Wessex exhibition, the Hardy's Gallery and portraits in the Artists' Dorset Gallery.

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Tours

9 July 2022, 10:30am - 12:00noon

Roman Town House Tours

A guided tour of one of the best examples of a Roman Town House in England.

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Family Activity

10 July 2022, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Sunday ArtyFacts

Have fun with stencils and create your own printed fabric based on flowers and natural forms in our Dorset artist and Natural Dorset galleries.

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Concert

20 July 2022, 7:30pm

Victoria Sayles and Kirsty Barry

A visit from two musicians with strong local connections. Violinist, Victoria (Dorchester born and bred) now enjoys an international career having recently been appointed leader of the Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra while Pianist, Kirsty will be remembered as a former member of staff at Thomas Hardye School.

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Festival of Archaeology: Museum after hours

21 July 2022, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Museum after hours

Join us for an opportunity to explore the Museum at this free late opening

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Festival of Archaeology: Talk

21 July 2022, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

The Ridgeway Vikings: New research and findings | Heather Tamminen

Using modern digital technology, the sharp force of trauma on these individuals has been reappraised to see what new information can be learned. Bournemouth University’s Heather Tamminen will show how this technology has been able to refine the interpretations of the events that occurred and have added to the narrative of dramatic events that took place on the Ridgeway ten centuries ago.

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