Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service (WAAS) has been successful in its bid for £74,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to bring the Lost Landscapes of Worcestershire back to life.
Between 2017 and 2018 WAAS, in partnership with Museums Worcestershire, will deliver events and exhibitions celebrating half a million years of the area's history, from the time our ancestors arrived until the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago.
Over this enormous timespan there were many changes in climate, from woolly mammoths roaming an icy tundra, to prehistoric lions hunting the grasslands beneath Bredon Hill. Humans came and went with the warming and cooling of the climate. Thanks to National Lottery players, the Lost Landscapes of Worcestershire will bring this little known period of our prehistory to life through a series of children's and family events, art installations and activities. The project will culminate in the summer of 2018 with exhibitions located at The Hive and Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, in the heart of Worcester City.
Working with volunteers, local schools and the public, we will explore our understanding of the Ice Age objects and information in the care of WAAS and Museums Worcestershire as well as the collections of institutions across the West Midlands. Worcestershire's collections, amassed since the 1830s, tell a story of antiquarian study and a developing understanding of the most remote of periods in human history. Wonderful objects were collected both from within Worcestershire and from key Ice Age sites in Britain and Europe throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Exhibitions and activities will bring together what we know of Worcestershire's lost Ice Age landscapes from two centuries of collecting and study and examines what consequences this had for the ferocious debate surrounding the origin of our species and what it means to be human.
Cllr Lucy Hodgson, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Localism and Communities, said: "I am delighted that Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service has been awarded National Lottery funding for the Lost Landscapes of Worcestershire project. The events and exhibitions will be fascinating, taking in hundreds of thousands of years of history, and the culmination of the project in Summer 2018 promises to be spectacular."
Vanessa Harbar, Head of HLF West Midlands, said: “We’re delighted to support WAAS to share the fascinating Palaeolithic heritage of Worcestershire, bringing together the best artefacts and research from across the West Midlands. Thanks to National Lottery players, this comprehensive project will bring this distant period of history alive through exhibitions, events and activities for all ages.”