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History/Archaeology: Corroborating the Past – Beyond The Written Source With Emily Johnston From The University of Edinburgh

6th July 2023 @ 14:15 - 15:00

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We are delighted to welcome Emily Johnston from the School of History, Classics & Archaeology at The University of Edinburgh. Emily is carrying out a PhD which explores community engagement in commercial archaeology and, in this session, will lead an interactive skills based talk for students entitled Corroborating the Past: Beyond The Written Source.

The study of material culture in archaeology offers a unique perspective into how people lived throughout history. Archaeologists can use their interpretive skills to understand chronology and recreate past societies and cultures, as well as filling gaps in primary sources.

This session explores the role of archaeology in historical research, and how artefacts can corroborate primary sources to understand historical narratives. We will examine examples of artefacts and archaeological sites which have helped to corroborate or disprove historical events and practices. This will highlight how a historian’s toolkit can draw upon interpretation and evaluation skills, as well critical analysis to approach the study of the past.

This session will be useful to historians looking to broaden their skillset beyond analysis of written sources and help to show how archaeology can improve our understanding of past events.

This exciting event is designed to support History students in their current studies by developing their appreciation of how material sources are an essential element of the historian’s toolkit. By understanding the vital role of archaeologists, we hope the session may also serve to pique students’ interest in the possibilities offered by the further study of Archaeology.

Speaker Profile (Please Click): Emily Johnston


Our events are designed so that a group of students can take part from a classroom or students and teachers can take part as individuals, either from school or from home. This means that sessions will continue irrespective of possible school closures.

As a live, participative event, this session will not be recorded but slides and other resources will be shared after the event, where available.


Suitable for: S5/S6, Key Stage 5 (and equivalent) students studying History and related disciplines. Student groups as well as students and teachers joining individually are very welcome.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the topic in advance and questions they have. Students can also think about questions about studying at university level.

The IT Setup: The event will be run on Bluejeans (similar to Zoom) and participants will be able to join using laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If you are joining as a school group, we recommend connecting with one device and projecting on to a whiteboard. You will be able to interact with the university via a microphone and/or typed comments and questions. Full details will be sent to those who have registered (see below) prior to the event.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you would like to take part in this event, please register your interest using the link to the registration form below:


Register here



6th July 2023
14:15 - 15:00
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