Thursday 8 April 2010

Ireland - Dig It at Clare Museum

Clare Museum

Clare Museum is involved in a new RTE production from ‘Mind the Gap Films’ called ‘Ireland – Dig It’. The series will air on The Den on RTE during Heritage Week at the end of August and in order to have programmes ready by then, filming will take place in late May and early June this year. The aim of the series is to foster an interest in local history and archaeology in children throughout the country and to take that history and archaeology out of the museum and bring it to life for the entire community. The series will explore prehistoric Ireland, the Bronze Age and the Viking Invasions, possibly extending into the Norman period. The current format of each programme will see three teams of three 5th or 6th class primary school children from all over Ireland competing in a series of archaeology and history based physical and mental challenges. The teams will be divided so that two members of the team (the code breakers) will be based at one of the museums while the other team member (the seeker) will be out in the field at a historical site or a reconstructed site that sees them guided by a mythological figure to solve a series of clues, using the information fed to them from their teamates at the museum. The programme culminates with two teams’ seekers arriving at specially constructed dig site to excavate some replica artefacts.

‘Mind the Gap Films’ have designed a web-based application process to allow children and schools who wish to take part to follow a series of online clues relating to local and national history and archaeology. When all the clues have been solved they get a password that allows them to apply. The local authority museum sites are linked to this online process. So for example, a player must search for an artefact on the museums’ sites, and when they find a picture of it, they click on the image and it takes them to the next level of the game. It is hoped that children with a genuine interest in history will take part, while at the same time raising awareness of museums around the country. Staff at Clare Museum are delighted to be involved in this exciting new programme and are looking forward to working on the project.

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