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Exploring the past

09 September 2007

The Welsh Assembly’s Minister for Heritage, Rhodri Glyn Thomas is to visit a medieval village where Cardiff University archaeologists and the Vale of Glamorgan Council are helping the public to rediscover and experience the past.

A "living history" village has been reconstructed at Cosmeston Medieval Village near Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan where costumed historical interpreters, buildings, artefacts and gardens show life in Wales during the fourteenth century. First explored 30 years ago, a new community archaeology and research project has now been launched by the School of History and Archaeology working together with the Vale of Glamorgan Council within the only known reconstructed medieval village in Britain.

The Minister and guests will be welcomed to the site by Vale Mayor Councillor Clive Williams on September 12 when Rhodri Glyn Thomas will attend a reception at the village for delegates attending an international conference ‘Ruralia’ hosted by the University’s Centre for Medieval Society and Culture.

Professor John Hines, School of History and Archaeology, said: "Cosmeston is a unique heritage project in Britain. Our new Cosmeston Innovation and Engagement project is helping to deepen public appreciation of this significant site by working with the community, and adding to the attractions for visitors."

HISAR3 Cosmeston

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Notes to Editors:

1. Members of the media are invited to attend the reception (12 September, 7pm) to film/photograph the village buildings, including interesting interiors with costumed guides and traditional breeds of farm animals. Please notify Jane Stewart in advance if you plan to attend. Photos from the event can be requested from the Public Relations Office: 029 20874499.

2. Cardiff School of History and Archaeology

The School of History and Archaeology carries out teaching and research in four main areas: History and Welsh History; Ancient History; Archaeology; and Archaeology Conservation.

History and Welsh History offers a broad survey of the main aspects from the medieval period to the twentieth century. Areas of expertise include: Medieval England, the Crusades, military religious orders; early modern England and Wales; early modern Spain; and modern Indian historiography and gender history. The broad area of Europe and the British Empire in the Twentieth Century encompasses such research themes as: modern Germany; biological racism and ethics; the Right in France; and the Wilson era in British politics. Areas of expertise in Welsh history include early modern Wales; the gentry; industrialisation; popular culture and Welsh emigration/dispersal (with particular reference to North America)

Ancient History focuses on the social and economic history of the ancient world, with particular emphasis on: warrior elites; warfare and the formation; organisation and social effects of armies; violence and its control inside ancient societies; issues of identity, especially gender history and ethnicity; and slavery and other systems of labour and land exploitation.

Archaeology offers expertise in two main areas: the archaeology of Britain, Europe and the Mediterranean 5000BC-1000AD; and studies in ancient technology and the analysis of materials and conservation science.

The Archaeology Conservation degree scheme offered by the School is one of only two such undergraduate courses in Britain. It attracts conservation commissions from throughout the UK, giving students valuable hands-on experience. The teaching of Ancient History and Archaeology was assessed as "Excellent" in the recent national assessment of teaching quality in UK universities.

3.Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities.

Visit the University website at:

Further Information:

For more information, please contact:

Jane Stewart,
School of History and Archaeology
Cardiff University
Tel: 02920 874260

Professor John Hines,
School of History and Archaeology
Cardiff University
Tel: 02920 874736

Emma Darling
Public Relations Office,
Cardiff University,
029 2087 4499