Interaction with the community and partnership with outside organisations is central to The University of Nottingham's project at Caistor St Edmund in Norfolk. The project represents a partnership between the University, local government and Norfolk's cultural heritage community. The research project will directly feed into the presentation of the site, both at the site itself and in future gallery displays at Norwich Castle Museum. The partner organisations have provided both financial and practical assistance for the project, which is combined with research funds raised through the University.
The site of Caistor Roman Town is owned by the Norfolk Archaeological Trust and maintained by South Norfolk Council. The management, use and future development of the site for cultural heritage purposes are guided by the Caistor Joint Advisory Board (JAB) comprising representatives from Norfolk Archaeological Trust, South Norfolk Council, Norfolk County Council, the Parochial Church Council and Caistor Parish Council. Members of Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service and English Heritage also sit on the JAB in an advisory capacity.
The project is overseen by a Project Officer Group comprising William Bowden (The University of Nottingham),John Davies (Chief Curator - Norwich Castle Museum), David Gurney (Principal Archaeologist - Historic Environment Services, Norfolk County Council), Peter Wade-Martins (Director - Norfolk Archaeological Trust) and Will Fletcher (Inspector of Ancient Monuments - English Heritage).
From the outset it was intended that volunteers from the Caistor region would play an important role in the research project. More than 200 volunteers have registered with the project, and many have participated in field survey, excavation and geophysical survey. The field survey in particular is entirely run by the project volunteers. Volunteers have also been involved with cataloguing the finds from the original 1930's excavations, together with the finds from the new research. The success of the volunteer programme has resulted in the establishment of a charity (Caistor Roman Project Ltd) to sustain it over the longer term.
Caistor represents a valuable educational and cultural resource for East Anglia. The results of the research project are being used to develop new ways of presenting the site to visitors and to enhance the information that is given to visitors to the site.
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