Raising the Mary Rose’s history

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THE 35th anniversary of the raising of the Mary Rose is being celebrated as part of this year’s Festival of Archaeology.

Showcasing the world’s largest underwater excavation, the Mary Rose Museum at the Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth invites visitors to attend an array of events, from guest speakers to family workshops.

The UK-wide festival is co-ordinated by the Council for British Archaeology in partnership with Historic England, with more than 1,000 events taking place across the country.

During the week, The Mary Rose team will uncover the story of the loss and recovery of the ship, focusing on the experts involved in excavating, interpreting and conserving the vessel for future generations.

The first two days of the festival welcomes the SEAHA Mobile Heritage Lab, which has access to scientific equipment from leading laboratories including UCL, Oxford and Brighton.

The following five days will feature talks including Recovery and Revelation: The archaeology of the Mary Rose, screenings of The Mary Rose Revealed documentary, archaeology skills workshops for families, and discussions of experimental archaeology, one of the very practical methods of archaeological interpretation.

The festival will include an introduction to the Mary Rose divers, giving visitors the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of the challenges they faced when excavating the warship.

The Mary Rose is the only surviving 16th century warship on display, recovered from the Solent seabed in October 1982 with an international television audience of 60m. Marine archaeologists spent six years searching for the ship, only to spend even longer salvaging it.

So far it has taken more than 30 years recover about 19,000 artefacts from the wreckage.

Archaeology Week will take place at The Mary Rose Museum from Friday July 21 to Friday 28. A full programme of events can be found at maryrose.org/archaeologyweek2017.