2nd October 2020:
This month, OA will be highlighting a series of excavations which tell us about the undocumented experiences of Black people in our collective human story.
Black History Month is held in October to celebrate the culture, history, and achievement of Black Britons. It was founded in 1987 to recognise the contributions that people of African and Caribbean backgrounds have made to this country over many generations, and this has grown and expanded in recent decades to include all Black people.
Black History Month aims to address the lack of representation of black people in historical narratives and archaeology, as the study of material remains rather than written sources, can bring to light new evidence on the diversity of human exchange and experience. Archaeological research in recent decades has shown that black people have been in Britain far longer than previously thought. For instance, a genetic study of Cheddar Man, a Mesolithic hunter gatherer who lived in south-west England around 10,000 years ago, indicates that he had dark skin and blue eyes.
Each week of October, we will be sharing stories which explore the themes of race, migration, colonialism, and slavery at different periods in British history and prehistory. We hope that this series reveals a new narrative of the people who have inhabited these islands over hundreds and thousands of year - unexplored, marginalised, and underappreciated.