THIS year’s Festival of Archaeology at Salisbury Museum will take place over the weekend of July 13 and 14.

For the fifth year, the weekend 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 museum.

Highlights this year include 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, and 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.

And archaeologist of the year, Richard Osgood, 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’.

Also from television there will be 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.

Adding a new twist to the event, comedian Ella Al-Shamahi 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.

Wrapping up the festival weekend, there will 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.

The festival is open both days from 10am to 5pm. Entry is £2 donation and tickets for talks, £8, are available through