Community Archaeology on Infrastructure Projects

Headland Archaeology have an extensive and diverse portfolio of community archaeology and engagement projects that we have conducted for clients over the years. This has included schools outreach workshops, site open days and exhibitions, heritage trails, guide pamphlets, popular publications, community excavation and training programmes. As well as a wealth of experience in community engagement, Headland Archaeology have extensive experience working with Industrial Heritage and Archaeology.

A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement

Scheme Summer Community Dig

Our work at the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme in partnership with Museum of London Archaeology included a rigorous program of community  events with over 40 talks given in association with the project, multiple school sessions reaching over 1000  students, and a community dig.

During the community dig we welcomed to site more than 60 volunteers who had the chance to pick up new archaeological skills and participate in uncovering a rich archaeological landscape.

Our team supervised the volunteers and shared their expertise while the volunteers were taught the basics of excavation, recording features and digital surveying. The excavation included workshops and finds washing as well, with a trip to the nearby finds processing centre and daily talks on pottery, finds processing and photography. The feedback from the participants and community was overwhelmingly positive.

Read an account from a volunteer! HERE


M74 Completion Project

One of our standout projects of this nature is undoubtedly the 2007/8 M74 Completion Project in Glasgow, in partnership with Pre-Construct Archaeology. Alongside the nine-month programme of trial trenching and excavation was a two-year Public Archaeology Programme.

The brief was designed by the University of Glasgow specifically for the project.  Given the specialist work required, we brought in Glasgow Museums and three full time staf

f to help us deliver parts of the brief. With their help, we took over a local museum – a Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed school, now Scotland Street Museum – and turned it into the ‘M74 Dig Discovery Centre’. Our target audience were local schools and communities along the route of the new road; with a staggering 72,000 visits recorded. We created an archive and research area, built simulated digs where children could participate, offered talks and masterclasses on aspects of archaeology, family events and all sorts of hands-on activities. Using the excavations as venues, we also ran dozens of open days, invited schools and community groups down to site and offered a volunteer programme for those who wanted to help.

An Oral History Project was also undertaken through the Public Archaeology programme and was particularly successful; tracking down many of the families who once worked in the factories or lived in the tenements that we were bringing back to the light of day. The results of the project, both the archaeological excavations and the public archaeology programme, including information gained from the Oral History Project were published in 2016 – ‘The Birth of Industrial Glasgow: The Archaeology of the M74’ – by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland with a publication grant from Historic Scotland.




Viking Link 

In 2023 Headland Archaeology undertook a series of public events to promote the archaeological work and discoveries from the Viking Link project on behalf of National Grid Viking Link.

As part of the Festival of Archaeology, alongside Wessex Archaeology and Viking Link staff, public display and interpretation events took place at three local museums across Lincolnshire. Over 1000 visitors attended the events in Boston, Spilsby and Lincoln over a three day period which gave visitors the opportunity to view information displays, talk to experts about the archaeology uncovered on the project, and view objects from the excavations such as pottery and jewellery.

In October, further outreach was undertaken focussing on younger generations with a series of visits to local primary schools across Lincolnshire, again delivered by Headland Archaeology in partnership with the team from Viking Link and the engagement team from Wessex Archaeology.

Over 300 students took part in workshops across eight schools in the region, with the team jointly delivering 45 workshops.