Discover the archaeology of the Thames

Children aged 8 to 18 can explore London's open-air archeological site and discover what it means to become an archeologist with these events.

Archaeologists are inviting young Londoners between the ages of eight to eighteen to join the Tadpoles: a group where they can discover first-hand what it takes to become a foreshore archaeologist.

Hosted by MOLA’s award-winning Thames Discovery Programme, with support from Tideway, the Tadpoles is back for a third year with a summer season of free events that explore London’s longest open-air archaeological site: the Thames foreshore. 

Kicking off with a season launch on Saturday 2nd March, nine practical sessions teach Tadpoles how to identify archaeological objects brought to light by the tidal Thames, and record the fragile archaeological features to be found on its foreshore.

Guided walks and fieldwork sessions connect young Londoners with the river and explore physical evidence for the central role it has played in London’s history; from remains relating to a Tudor palace, to jetties and cranes from London’s industrial past. 

No experience is required, and participants are able to work towards completing their BAJR Archaeology Skills Passport to document skills gained on the path to becoming an archaeologist. 

Josh Frost, Senior Community Archaeologist at Thames Discovery Programme, said:

“I am really looking forward to getting started on a new year of Tadpoles activities and equipping a new group of young archaeologists with practical skills. It is fantastic that we are able to continue to inspire the next generation of foreshore archaeologists thanks to continued support from Tideway.”I

To join the Tadpoles or to find out more, recruits or their guardians are asked to contact the Thames Discovery Programme team at jfrost@mola.org.uk. 

Tadpoles are encouraged to attend all sessions to develop their skills and understanding but it’s not a prerequisite. Parents are welcome to come along to the session should they wish. The programme is run by an experienced community archaeologists who are DBS checked and first-aid trained. 

The full calendar of events appears below and is available online

Thames Discovery Programme Tadpoles Summer Season 2019

Thames Discovery Programme Tadpoles: 2019 Season Launch
Date: 02.03.19
Time: 12.30-14.30
The first of nine free, hands-on foreshore archaeology sessions will take place at MOLA’s London HQ – Mortimer Wheeler House – to kick start the Tadpoles 2019 journey. Find out what’s in store for the summer, and learn the skills you’ll need to get started. No experience is required, so come along examine lots of different finds from the foreshore, discover what periods they belong to and learn how London has changed with our archaeology experts!
MOLA,Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road, London N1 7ED
Price and booking: This event is free of charge, to sign up email Josh Frost at jfrost@mola.org.uk.

Thames Discovery Programme Tadpoles: Greenwich foreshore walk

Date: 23.03.19 Time:  09.30 -10.30
The first outing of the Thames Discovery Programme Tadpoles 2019 season will be a visit to the foreshore in front of the Old Royal Naval College at Greenwich, to explore archaeological features which point towards the presence of one of the most important palaces of the Tudor dynasty. Familiarise yourself with the amazing variety of objects to be found alongside the Thames, and see first-hand the dramatic erosion of the foreshore and its archaeological features.
Riverfront Stairs, Central Quad, Old Royal Naval College, London SE10 9NN
Price and booking:
This event is free of charge, to sign up email Josh Frost at jfrost@mola.org.uk

Thames Discovery Programme Tadpoles: First fieldwork trip to Custom House
Date: 10.04.19
Time:  11.30 -13.00

The third and fourth sessions of the Thames Discovery Programme Tadpoles 2019 season will take place at Custom House over two days, but there is no requirement to attend both. Try your hand at practical Tadpole fieldwork and help to record the archaeology of this stretch of foreshore.These sessions will allow new and more experienced Tadpoles alike to survey the remains of a causeway leading from the bottom of the river stairs down the foreshore, and a wooden gridiron which once supported customs barges at low tide.
Location: Custom House Stairs, Water Lane EC3R
Price and booking: This event is free of charge, to sign up email Josh Frost at jfrost@mola.org.uk.

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