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June 10, 2014

The lovely thing about doing this blog is I get sent all sorts of fascinating information, not all of it’s directly relevant to the history of archaeology, but it is all interesting. Two of the most recent are an expedition along the Silk Road sent to us by Frederick Whitling see below, and Chris Evans has notified us of “Tomorrow, Today” A Somewhere Project by Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope.

Work in progress on “Tomorrow, Today” A Somewhere Project by Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope, Archaeology excavations on the North West Cambridge site by Cambridge Archaeological Unit. Aerial Photography: Paul Bailey, Image Compositing: Dave Webb, Copyright CAU & The Artists.
‘Tomorrow, Today’ is an ambitious temporary landform we’ve been creating in Cambridge over the last few weeks with six fantastic teams of volunteers. For the next three weekends there’s a chance to visit the site and see the work in all its muddy glory – if you come this Saturday we’ll be there too – no doubt adding the last handfuls of cob!
Open Days – 11am – 4pm daily
6, 7, 8th June
13,14,15th June
20, 21, 22nd June
The project evolved out of our residency with the University of Cambridge’s Department of Archaeology and taking part in the excavations by Cambridge Archaeological Unit preceding the advancing North West Cambridge Development. This experience of the diggers’ painstaking direct engagement with the past informed our proposal to create this evocation of the site’s future, using the excavated earth and manual labour of a new ‘cob community’ who would claim the space temporarily and work alongside the archaeologists completing excavations on the adjacent site.
The project invites the audience to actively contemplate the site’s past and the future community and townscape that will be built here over the coming years. The 1:12.5 scale ‘model village of the future’ was hand-built on site by volunteer teams using ancient cob building techniques, made primarily from the materials excavated during the archaeological survey.
‘Tomorrow, Today’ will eventually be buried carefully beneath the soil level as the actual development begins, its trace visible only from the air – perhaps to be uncovered one day by archaeologists of the future.
How to get there: North West Cambridge Development, Gravel Hill Farm, Madingley Rise, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0FU.
Vehicular access only from Madingley Rise. Entrance to Gravel Hill Farm is located between the Department of Earth Sciences and the Bullard Laboratories. Please follow North West Cambridge Project Office signs. Pedestrian and cyclist access from the south (as for vehicles) from the north via the Avenue of Chestnut Trees (beside 181 Huntingdon Road) and the east via Storey’s Way.
Sensible footwear and outdoor clothing are recommended!
For more information or images visit or
Managed by the Contemporary Art Society with InSite Arts Commissioned by the University of Cambridge’s North West Cambridge Development as part of the North West Cambridge Art Programme. Thanks to Cambridge Archaeological Unit

Of the Expedition Silk Road project, Vera Tolstoj writes:
Dear archaeologists!
I would like to draw your attention to a wonderful project in which I am participating. The Hermitage Museum (Amsterdam and St. Petersburg) and Leiden University have selected me and five other students in archaeology and history (Leiden and Amsterdam) to travel to Central Asia for a month to study various cultural expressions of the Silk Road. We will leave for Kazakhstan in about a week, and will share our experiences and results with the visitors of the “Expedition Silk Road. Journey to the West”-exhibition in the Hermitage Amsterdam, and with everyone who is interested. To find out more about our project, follow – and like – our Journey to the East on our Facebook page: and visit our video blog: We are raising additional funding to cover our expenses on the road – any donation will be rewarded: We are very curious about your reactions and we would, needless to say, be very grateful for your support.


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