Goods Corner: Public Engagement

  • The collection of discovered tile fragments was arranged so as to help ‘re-create’ the original design in black line.
  • The image of the tile as a completed reconstruction.
  • The completed image was printed out onto thin card and stuck onto foam-board to allow it to be handled more effectively. This was then randomly cut up to emulate a ‘smashed’ tile that could then be re-assembled as a puzzle!

Survey, excavation and public engagement at Goods Corner, Edinburgh

Spring 2017

The excavations at Goods Corner – an urban site at Liberton, Edinburgh – took a total of nine weeks for the main excavation and revealed two pre-industrial buildings in addition to the structures dating to the 19th and 20th century. A multitude of finds dating to this period were uncovered in relation to these later buildings, including a variety of decorated tiles.

A public engagement session with children at Liberton primary school was arranged that introduced children to the nature of work undertaken by archaeologists and aimed to give them fun exercises to engage with. As part of this the tiles were recreated as ‘puzzles’ that could be re-assembled by the children, reflecting the way in which archaeologists literally piece together the various fragments that they find to give a more complete picture of the past. (Other exercises included the study of the archaeologists tool-kit and examination of animal bones found on site).

Given that the site would inevitably be destroyed as a result of the excavation and development we felt that it was important to record the former site of Goods Corner. Knowing of the excellent work of local sculptor Tim Chalk we discussed with him what kind of thing might be possible. After extensive discussion it was agreed that Tim would create a sculpture of the site as it looked during excavation with accompanying explanatory text. The final sculpt was installed within the grounds of the building where it could be accessed by interested members of the public.

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