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The Great North Museum: Hancock

5 Projects, page 1 of 1
  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/V011359/1
    Funder Contribution: 79,891 GBP
    Partners: University of Stirling, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, The Great North Museum: Hancock, NMS, Leeds Museums and Galleries, Butser Ancient Farm, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Scottish Crannog Centre, The Hunterian

    Informed by the original 'Ancient Identities in Modern Britain' (AI) grant (AH/N006151/1), this Follow-on project will support the development of tolerance in British society, in partnership with eight Iron Age and Roman Heritage (IARH) museums and sites located in both rural and urban areas of England, Scotland and Wales. Tolerance is defined as a three-dimensional concept entailing 'acceptance of, respect for and appreciation of difference' (Hjerm 2019). AI research exposed binary uses of Iron Age and Roman Heritages (IARHs) aimed at rejecting difference and forging hostile ideas of others framed on the basis of ethnicity, culture and race. It also showed how formal and informal education is frequently identified by people as the reference point for such exclusive uses of IARHs. It is therefore of particular concern that formal and free-choice learning environments across Britain frequently continue to present the Iron Age and Roman past through dichotomies and caricatures, for example by contrasting militarised and violent, but civilising, mobile and multicultural Romans to spiritual, peaceful, environmentally sustainable and indigenous, but barbaric and rebellious Iron Age people. When we shared these findings from the AI project, a number of heritage and education professionals and members of the public reported that the project results had prompted them to begin rethinking their everyday lives and work practices. Consequently, two clear needs for intervention emerged: (1) increasing public understanding of the repertoire of symbols that are leveraged to power divisive social narratives and proposing alternatives that can provoke attitudinal shifts; and (2) aiding heritage curators and educators to create learning experiences for current and future generations of children that contribute to building a tolerant society. The Follow-on project will address these needs and co-produce tolerant futures through ancient identities by pursuing two newly emerged pathways to impact, targeted at two new audiences. The first pathway consists of creating, displaying and widely disseminating a digital artwork to raise public awareness of the divisive ways in which IARHs have been mobilised in the public sphere over the past ten years, in order to challenge them and recognise opportunities for inclusivity and tolerance. During the lifetime of the project, this pathway will have impact on the new audience of at least 15,000 adults (18+) in Britain including those who do not visit IARH museums and sites as well as those who do, and at least 30,000 more in the two years following the end of the grant. The second pathway is aimed at generating impact on the new audience of 7-11 year old children in England, Scotland and Wales, both in the immediate and longer-term future. It consists of co-producing and widely disseminating digital storytelling resources that can help heritage and history educators to enable non-binary and nuanced early engagements with IARHs which encourage children to open up to and reflect on the themes of otherness and tolerance. The project's legacy will be ensured through the creation a cross-sector network of heritage and education professionals with capacity to support the future development of critical interpretations of IAHRs across England, Scotland and Wales. This will ensure that the two pathways live beyond the end of the Follow-on grant.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/V011359/2
    Funder Contribution: 57,790 GBP
    Partners: Leeds Museums and Galleries, Butser Ancient Farm, University of Edinburgh, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, The Hunterian, Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, NMS, The Great North Museum: Hancock, Scottish Crannog Centre

    Informed by the original 'Ancient Identities in Modern Britain' (AI) grant (AH/N006151/1), this Follow-on project will support the development of tolerance in British society, in partnership with eight Iron Age and Roman Heritage (IARH) museums and sites located in both rural and urban areas of England, Scotland and Wales. Tolerance is defined as a three-dimensional concept entailing 'acceptance of, respect for and appreciation of difference' (Hjerm 2019). AI research exposed binary uses of Iron Age and Roman Heritages (IARHs) aimed at rejecting difference and forging hostile ideas of others framed on the basis of ethnicity, culture and race. It also showed how formal and informal education is frequently identified by people as the reference point for such exclusive uses of IARHs. It is therefore of particular concern that formal and free-choice learning environments across Britain frequently continue to present the Iron Age and Roman past through dichotomies and caricatures, for example by contrasting militarised and violent, but civilising, mobile and multicultural Romans to spiritual, peaceful, environmentally sustainable and indigenous, but barbaric and rebellious Iron Age people. When we shared these findings from the AI project, a number of heritage and education professionals and members of the public reported that the project results had prompted them to begin rethinking their everyday lives and work practices. Consequently, two clear needs for intervention emerged: (1) increasing public understanding of the repertoire of symbols that are leveraged to power divisive social narratives and proposing alternatives that can provoke attitudinal shifts; and (2) aiding heritage curators and educators to create learning experiences for current and future generations of children that contribute to building a tolerant society. The Follow-on project will address these needs and co-produce tolerant futures through ancient identities by pursuing two newly emerged pathways to impact, targeted at two new audiences. The first pathway consists of creating, displaying and widely disseminating a digital artwork to raise public awareness of the divisive ways in which IARHs have been mobilised in the public sphere over the past ten years, in order to challenge them and recognise opportunities for inclusivity and tolerance. During the lifetime of the project, this pathway will have impact on the new audience of at least 15,000 adults (18+) in Britain including those who do not visit IARH museums and sites as well as those who do, and at least 30,000 more in the two years following the end of the grant. The second pathway is aimed at generating impact on the new audience of 7-11 year old children in England, Scotland and Wales, both in the immediate and longer-term future. It consists of co-producing and widely disseminating digital storytelling resources that can help heritage and history educators to enable non-binary and nuanced early engagements with IARHs which encourage children to open up to and reflect on the themes of otherness and tolerance. The project's legacy will be ensured through the creation a cross-sector network of heritage and education professionals with capacity to support the future development of critical interpretations of IAHRs across England, Scotland and Wales. This will ensure that the two pathways live beyond the end of the Follow-on grant.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: AH/T001631/1
    Funder Contribution: 757,315 GBP
    Partners: Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, Headland Archaeology, National Museum of Ireland, Ashmolean Museum, Historic England, The Great North Museum: Hancock, Norfolk Museum and Archaeology Service, MMU, Historic Environment Scotland, NMS...

    Evidence from Britain and Ireland between 3500-2000 BC (the late Neolithic and Chalcolithic) makes this one of the most important periods in prehistory. During this time, we see spectacular Grooved Ware and Beaker pottery, metallurgy, carved mace heads, and use of some of Europe's most iconic sites such as Newgrange and Stonehenge. Recent ancient DNA data (suggesting almost complete population replacement at the end of the period) and dietary stable isotopes (indicating movement of people and animals over previously unsuspected distances) suggest that there is still much to learn. These new data challenge and reinvigorate older debates in terms of growing social hierarchies, ethnicity, religious organisation, and identity. However, these data have not been matched by developments in our chronologies; such fine-grained evidence requires equally sophisticated and specific chronologies in order to understand these changes. While previously prehistorians had to rely for their chronological structure on typologies of sites and things, we now have the ability to produce very precise, probabilistic, independent chronologies using Bayesian statistical analyses (e.g. Bronk Ramsey 2009; Bayliss 2009). Bayesian analysis has provided precise chronologies for individual sites (e.g. Whittle 2018) or activity at types of site (e.g 'Neolithic burials'; Whitehouse et al. 2014), which were previously understood at the scale of several centuries. It allows a coherent way to compare scientific chronologies, and applications to earlier Neolithic sites (e.g. Whittle et al. 2011) have had international significance in the ways archaeologists approach scientific dating as a whole. While we have had excellent examples of scientific chronologies for individual late Neolithic and Chalcolithic sites or things (see below), no attempt has been made to write a synthetic history of the dramatic changes of late 4th and 3rd millennia Ireland and Britain using accurate and detailed chronology. Moreover, 'simply' increasing chronological precision on its own is not enough. To fully achieve the potential of the Bayesian 'revolution' (cf. Bayliss 2009; Bronk Ramsey 2009; Griffiths 2017), we need both an independent chronological framework, and an approach to 'prehistory' that moves beyond ever more precise chronologies for sites or sequences. We need narratives that can synthesise and interpret evidence from across 'packages' that archaeologists recognise as significant - such as the late Neolithic and Chalcolithic - and use precisely defined time-scales as the basis for discussing changes in practices, things and places produced by people in historically-specific times. Chapman (2018) has recently called this the 'central challenge' in order to write 'a new kind of archaeology', while Whittle (2018, 248) argues that the 'pre- must come out of prehistory'. This project will do just that. We will build on previous approaches, producing site-specific chronological models for all evidence from Britain and Ireland from 3500-2000 BC, while generating a significant legacy of new data, in order to use time - expressed in centuries and decades - as the basis for our new narrative structure. We will make all data, analytical programs and outputs open access, meaning it will be possible to adapt and revise our chronologies in future research. This project's significance will therefore lie not just in our methods, or our routine chronological precision for 1500 years of Irish and British history, or our commitment to open access, but also in our new approaches to writing narratives of 'prehistory' in the future.

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: NE/P013090/1
    Funder Contribution: 419,180 GBP
    Partners: Swedish Museum of Natural History, RAS, University of Cambridge, SIA, AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, Western Australian Museum, RVC, The Great North Museum: Hancock, University of Bristol, University of Ottawa...

    Our proposal brings together world class expertise and cutting-edge methods to answer a key question in the history of life: how did vertebrates conquer the land? We address this question by testing four key hypotheses derived from long-standing assertions that selection acted upon the skull to drive adaptations for improved terrestrial feeding during the water to land transition. Our methods offer a means to shift away from analogy-driven assertions of evolutionary history towards rigorous testable hypotheses founded upon mechanical principles, and will set a benchmark for future studies in evolutionary biomechanics. For the first 200 million years of their history, vertebrates lived an aquatic existence. Between 385 and 350 million years ago they evolved a host of anatomical features that ultimately enabled vertebrates to conquer land. This reorganization of the vertebrate skeleton created the basic tetrapod body plan of a consolidated head with mobile neck, arms and legs with digits and air breathing lungs. This plan has persisted, subject to modification, ever since and is shared by all terrestrial vertebrates. It was proposed over 50 years ago that tetrapods modified their skull bones and jaw muscles to create a stronger and 'more efficient' structure, capable of forceful biting for feeding on land. This reorganization is seen as key to their subsequent radiations, enabling tetrapods to expand into new ecological niches by feeding on terrestrial plants, large prey and hard or tough food. It has been proposed that these modifications came at the cost of reduced hydrodynamic efficiency and a slower bite, and could only be achieved by the loss of suction feeding and the evolution of rib-based breathing, thus freeing the skull from its roles in aquatic locomotion, drawing prey into the mouth and pumping air into the lungs. These ideas have been perpetuated in textbooks for decades, yet are based on out-dated simple line drawings of skulls and jaw closing muscles, and remain to be tested. We now have a rich and informative fossil record that documents changes in skull shape across the water to land transition. However, until now, we have lacked the means to test these hypotheses in a quantitative, rigorous way. In this proposal we will determine how changes in skull form and function enabled vertebrates to feed in a terrestrial environment and document the sequence of evolutionary changes and trade-offs that lead to their conquering of land. We will integrate principles from palaeontology and biology to reconstruct skull anatomy in 14 fossil tetrapods. Mathematical and mechanical principles will then be used to test the hypothesis that changes to skull anatomy resulted in tetrapod skulls evolving from hydrodynamically streamlined broad, flat skulls that could deliver a rapid (but weak) bite to strongly built skulls that could produce a more effective, forceful bite. New evolutionary modelling methods will assess how selection for skull strength or hydrodynamic efficiency shaped the evolution of the tetrapod skull. Our project will produce methodological advances that can be applied more broadly to evolutionary transitions and radiations, and to address long standing questions linking form and function. Palaeontologists, anatomists, biomechanists, evolutionary and developmental biologists and engineers will benefit from this work, which will establish new international collaborations. Its visual aspect and focus on early tetrapods will appeal to the general public, offering engagement opportunities and generating media interest. Members of our team are leaders in developing and validating methods for reconstructing and simulating the musculoskeletal anatomy and function of fossil organisms and have been involved in developing new methods for modelling how function has shaped form in deep time. The time is therefore ripe to apply our knowledge and skills to one of the key events in the history of life and our ow

  • Funder: UKRI Project Code: EP/S023836/1
    Funder Contribution: 5,530,580 GBP
    Partners: AVID Vehicles Ltd, Saint Gobains Isover, Kurt J Lesker Co Ltd, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, University of Cambridge, Durham County Council, Equiwatt Limited, université du Luxembourg, YeadonIP Ltd, Knowledge Transfer Network Limited...

    The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) is driven by industry and market needs, which indicate unprecedented growth in renewable and distributed energy to 2050. This growth is underpinned by global demand for electricity which will outstrip growth in demand for other sources by more than two to one (The drivers of global energy demand growth to 2050, 2016, McKinsey). A significant part of this demand will arise from vast numbers of distributed, but interconnected devices (estimated to reach 40 billion by 2024) serving sectors such as healthcare (for ageing populations) and personal transport (for reduced carbon dioxide emission). The distinctive remit of ReNU therefore is to focus on materials innovations for small-to-medium scale energy conversion and storage technologies that are sustainable and highly scalable. ReNU will be delivered by Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham Universities, whose world-leading expertise and excellent links with industry in this area have been recognised by the recent award of the North East Centre for Energy Materials (NECEM, award number: EP/R021503/1). This research-focused programme will be highly complementary to ReNU which is a training-focused programme. A key strength of the ReNU consortium is the breadth of expertise across the energy sector, including: thin film and new materials; direct solar energy conversion; turbines for wind, wave and tidal energy; piezoelectric and thermoelectric devices; water splitting; CO2 valorisation; batteries and fuel cells. Working closely with a balanced portfolio of 36 partners that includes multinational companies, small and medium size enterprises and local Government organisations, the ReNU team has designed a compelling doctoral training programme which aims to engender entrepreneurial skills which will drive UK regional and national productivity in the area of Clean Growth, one of four Grand Challenges identified in the UK Government's recent Industrial Strategy. The same group of partners will also provide significant input to the ReNU in the form of industrial supervision, training for doctoral candidates and supervisors, and access to facilities and equipment. Success in renewable energy and sustainable distributed energy fundamentally requires a whole systems approach as well as understanding of political, social and technical contexts. ReNU's doctoral training is thus naturally suited to a cohort approach in which cross-fertilisation of knowledge and ideas is necessary and embedded. The training programme also aims to address broader challenges facing wider society including unconscious bias training and outreach to address diversity issues in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects and industries. Furthermore, external professional accreditation will be sought for ReNU from the Institute of Physics, Royal Society of Chemistry and Institute of Engineering Technology, thus providing a starting point from which doctoral graduates will work towards "Chartered" status. The combination of an industry-driven doctoral training programme to meet identifiable market needs, strong industrial commitment through the provision of training, facilities and supervision, an established platform of research excellence in energy materials between the institutions and unique training opportunities that include internationalisation and professional accreditation, creates a transformative programme to drive forward UK innovation in renewable and sustainable distributed energy.