The 4th University of Chester Archaeology Student Conference

9am–5pm, Wednesday 20th March 2019, Grosvenor Museum Chester

Open to All

From IndyRef and Brexit to the Refugee Crisis and Trump’s Wall, frontiers and tensions surrounding the movement of people across them dominate our news. Archaeological research can provide perspectives and insights into how frontiers and borderlands are created, perpetuated, defined, fragmented, moved, removed and reinvented. Archaeological research shows us that frontiers are not lines on a map, but zones that might possess topographic, economic, social, political, religious and ideological dimensions. Borderlands, meanwhile, needn’t relate to clearly defined zones either side of a coherent ‘border’. Frontiers and borderlands can thus operate as zones of interaction and creativity as much as barriers and blockades in which new identities and perceptions of the environment can be fostered and reproduced.

The conference will tackle public archaeology’s critical engagement with frontiers and borderlands past and present. Hence, by interrogating the heritage and public archaeology of many different frontiers and borderlands, from Hadrian’s Wall and Offa’s Dyke to the Great Wall of China and the Berlin Wall, the conference critically explores the perspectives and stories archaeologists can tell about borders as barriers and bridges.

At this free day conference to be hosted by the Grosvenor Museum, Chester, final-year Archaeology students will present the results of their research tackling how archaeologists and archaeological research on frontiers and borderlands must navigate complex relationships and political discourses with communities both digital and tangible, contributing to how frontiers are conserved, managed and interpreted.


There will be three special guest speakers offering their perspectives on the public archaeology of frontiers and borderlands:

  • Dr Penelope Foreman – Memory Maker, Storyteller and Community Archaeologist, Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust
  • Professor Keith Ray – Honorary Professor of Archaeology, Cardiff University
  • John G. Swogger – Archaeologist and Illustrator (

Details on the CWAC museums website here.

offa's dyke, llanfair hill