Do you dig archaeology?

PUBLISHED: 12:29 20 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:31 06 May 2010

KEITH Fitzpatrick-Matthews

KEITH Fitzpatrick-Matthews

KEITH Fitzpatrick-Matthews has a message for anyone who thinks that archaeology is boring – it is actually about what makes us human. It s about the things we do with the world around us and what it also shows is that all human beings, no matter where th

KEITH Fitzpatrick-Matthews has a message for anyone who thinks that archaeology is boring - it is actually about what makes us human.

"It's about the things we do with the world around us and what it also shows is that all human beings, no matter where they come from and where they lived, are basically the same. It's about the traces you leave behind as you go through your daily lives," said Keith, (pictured right) who works at North Hertfordshire District Council as archaeology development officer.

This week is National Archaeology Week and Letchworth Museum has an ambitious project to rebuild the replica Iron Age round house that burned down there three years ago.

A member of the Celtic Harmony group has helped Keith to construct the framework and enthusiastic youngsters and members of the public are being invited along to add daub to the walls on Saturday.

Keith, who works at both Hitchin and Letchworth museums as well as documenting the extensive Baldock Roman excavations, also runs a Young Archaeology Group which meets regularly.

Keith has a website which is light-hearted and attracts thousands of hits from across the world. His approach to the past is fun and he is full of enthusiasm for his subject. But he is also concerned that fringe archaeology could be far more serious than it at first appears as scientific discipline is discarded. "It denies us a sense of humour and a means of investigating the world," he said.

Archaeology doesn't need embellishing anyway, believes Keith - it is exciting enough on its own and North Herts has a fascinating past and more artefacts from pre-history and Roman times than anywhere else in Hertfordshire. Visit Letchworth Museum to learn more and come along to help construct a round house on Saturday (July 22) between 11am and 3pm. Keith led a walk on Hidden Hitchin on Monday and gave a talk on The People Of Ancient Baldock yesterday (Wednesday).


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