Partnership puts students at heart of Albert Dock dig

Liverpool’s Albert Dock is set to be the backdrop for a high-profile LJMU archaeological dig later this month.


Students on BSc Forensic Anthropology and MSc Forensic Anthropology were invited by National Museums Liverpool to take part in a dig at Pier Masters House Green behind Liverpool Tate.

The six-week dig site will be manned from May 26 by students and city archaeologists who are inviting the public and schools to “find out about the history of one of the world’s most iconic docks”.

Kayleigh Hughes, 24, a Masters student from Liverpool, said: “I think it’s a really good opportunity to get to know more about our local history. It will benefit my career to get some hands-on experience in archaeology – it’s absolutely fantastic.”

Geophysical survey completion

Kayleigh and 22-year-old Ellie Edwards, from Monmouthshire, conducted a supervised geophysical survey this week to help the Museums decide exactly where to dig.

Vanessa Oakden, curator of community archaeology at National Museums Liverpool, said: “The Pier Master’s House, dating from 1852, is part of the restored dock but the Dock Master’s House just behind it disappeared, so that is what we are digging for.

“The Dock Master was the more important of the two figures and probably lived there with his family, so we are interested in shedding light on the conditions of family life 175 years ago.”

Ellie Edwards said: “We’re using GPR radar to penetrate the soil to discover whether there is anything below the ground. With this and other technologies, we can create a map of what’s down there.”

“We’re looking for evidence of walls or rubble. There are possibly family houses down there so maybe some items of pottery, ceramics, we don’t know until we do the ‘geophys’ survey,” added Kayleigh.


Dr David Jordan, senior lecturer in forensic archaeology, said: “It’s fantastic to be here working at one of the most iconic sites in Liverpool doing work to reveal the history of a historically-important place. It is such a privilege for us and such an exciting thing to offer our students.

“We’ll be down at the site from May 26 working alongside our partners at National Museums Liverpool.”

Source: Liverpool John Moores University

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