Looking Back at My Week in Lincoln and Nottingham (Nyaz Azeez Awmar, ITP 2019, Kurdistan)

Written by Nyaz Azeez Awmar, Director and Archaeologist, Koya Civilization Museum (ITP 2019, Kurdistan).

Lincolnshire’s city is ancient and beautiful, its people are down to earth, and yet its architecture reach for the heavens. I reckon that’s the best of all possible places, so I plan to keep returning. Few cities can present as dramatic a profile as Lincoln. From many miles away, the cathedral on its ridge makes a thrilling silhouette high above the surrounding landscape. Its mighty Gothic towers dominate the city’s rooftops. Nearer still, and Lincoln’s ancient castle is seen to share the heights. Lincoln is a city of two halves: the historic citadel above and, below, the commercial hub, with an earlier history of its own. Linking the two is the high street, one of Britain’s best-preserved streets.

The Collection is an award winning archaeology museum and art exhibition space, forming a vibrant cultural centre in the heart of historic Lincoln. The archaeology gallery takes visitors on a journey through the stone, bronze and iron ages before exploring the Roman, Saxon, Viking and medieval eras. The museum tells the story of Lincolnshire’s fascinating heritage.

We had a chance to see American artist Evan Roth’s special exhibition called Red Lines With Landscape at the Usher Gallery. This exhibition presents Roth’s Artangel 2018 commission, Red Lines, streamed via the internet from coastal sites around the word directly into the gallery. His digital displays are placed alongside artworks from the Usher Gallery’s landscape collection. Roth’s Red Lines project is a network of mesmerising video landscapes, filmed in infrared at sites around the world where the cables that make the internet possible emerge from the sea.  

Dinosaur Encounter

This exhibition has recently opened at the Collection and is where you can come come face–to–face with your favourite dinosaurs in this thrilling exhibition. The museum has two exhibitions and some activities for children who visit the museum. The activities had connections with the exhibition which is very important.

We visited Scremby, Lincolnshire

This site is being excavated by the University of Sheffield where an early Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemetery (c. AD 550 – 650) has been discovered. We enjoyed the archaeological site and excavation with the university team and exchanged information about methods of excavation.

A day at Lincoln Castle

Lincoln Castle was very nice and it had activities to do inside. Lincoln’s castle was established by William the Conqueror in 1068 as a seat of royal power. His architects put it roughly where the Romans had built their timber fortress, using the old walls as its outer bailey. There was a major project to restore the castle grounds, medieval walls, and the Victorian prison which opened in 2015.

I have now seen one the original copies of Magna Carta and it was amazing. To mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta in 2015, a specially designed subterranean vault opened in the castle grounds to house one of only four surviving original documents from 1215.

The walls were of the most enjoyable and spectacular parts of visiting the castle as you get to walk along the walls and savour the view and cathedral.

University of Nottingham Museum:

The museum first opened in 1933 when Dr Felix Oswald donated finds from his excavation at the site of Margidunum, a Roman settlement at Bingham in Nottinghamshire and his internationally important collection of Roman samian pottery. Today the museum holds and displays mainly regional collections of archaeology from Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, and Derbyshire, from the Paleolithic period to the post-medieval period. There are also smaller collections from other countries including Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt.

We visited the museum’s manuscripts and special collection stores. It’s very big and amazing to see this manuscript collection here which can be accessed by archivists, academics and the public.

Inside Nottingham’s Peel Street Cave

The Peel Street Caves are big amazing caves we had the chance to visit and explore. I enjoyed my time inside the caves and learning more information excavation in the caves by city archaeologists.