Archaeology and Archaeological Skills - Page under construction

The resources on this page are a general introduction to the tools of archaeology. They are our 'go to' resources for researching archaeological sites in your local area. This page details links to archaeological records in Greater Manchester area, details of historic image banks and accessible reports on the findings of local digs.


The page also details some of the activities we use to introduce archaeological reasoning and methods, along with details of archaeological themed activities that can be used to explore a number of different time periods.

Historic Image Collections:

Stockport Image Archive

A collection of historic photographs of all boroughs of Stockport. Includes images of Stockport landmarks and bombing raids in WWII.



Manchester Local Image Collection

A collection of images and historic photographs of Manchester.

Archaeological Sites in Greater Manchester:

Historic Environment Records Greater Manchester

Contact the Council's Archaeology Advisory Service or the Historic Environment Records Officer to discuss your project and find details of archaeological sites local. You can also access copies of old maps of Manchester.



Heritage Gateway

Online and searchable records of archaeological and historic sites in other areas of the UK including Derbyshire.



A collection of booklets that are largely free and available as a download, detailing the results of recent excavations in Greater Manchester. A great accessible resource for exploring the results of digs and archaeology projects in Manchester.



A collection of informal reports of the recent archaeological work dating back for the past ten years of local archaeology societies in Greater Manchester.

Other Organisations:

Young Archaeologists Club

Resources produced by the Council for British Archaeology for use by leaders of the Young Archaeologists Clubs.


Looking for ways to get involved in archaeology? Take a look at the information on our 'Get Involved' webpage.



Council for British Archaeology

Read about the work of this  Charity and it's role in protecting and promoting archaeology in the UK

Activites: General archaeology activities for any time period

Edinburgh Archaeology Outreach Project (EAOP)

A list of activity ideas to help understand archaeological methods. Also includes activities from different time periods. This is a live document, please share your own ideas here.


Finds Handling

Look at a selection of funds from a site/time period. See whether you can identify what they are, the materials and methods used to make them and what they tell us about life in that time period. Your local museum or archaeology society may have a handling collection you can use.

Collections in the Stockport Story Museum

Details of local history societies


Pottery Reconstruction

Put broken pottery back together using masking tape - always a crowd pleaser. Discuss the age, origin and use of the reconstructed item. Discuss what might be missing and what this means for our understanding of the past.


What’s in the box?

One of our favourite activities for a stall at a local event. Put a selection of finds in a box, close the lid. Ask people to put their hand in and find something. They have to guess what's in the box before taking a look. Then discuss what it might be and why it's relevant to archaeology or the time period you are discussing. Always proves very popular with both adults and children.


Place Name information

Provide some information about the meaning of place names in Britain. Take a look at old maps to see if you can spot any old names and decipher their meaning. Talk about what this means for the history of the area.

Some good information on the history of place names on these websites.


Shooting Gallery

Great activity for engaging children and for fundraising. Shoot toy bows and arrows at targets. Can be adapted to any time period with information provided about the targets. We have used this to talk about prehistoric animals such as aurochs and mammoths and also Viking ships and invaders.


Cook Historic Food

Adaptable to any time period. There's lots of information on the web about historic recipes. Two of our favourites are:




The Rubbish Game

This is what archaeology is about - looking at people's rubbish! Imagine four different people and collect together a number of different items of clean rubbish that they may have thrown away. Ask people to look at the rubbish and guess what was happening in the lives of the people who threw this rubbish away. Were they an adult or child? Male or female? Did they have pets? What hobbies did they have? What did they believe? Etc. (Adapt questions to age group). Discuss ideas and similarities/differences. Look at the finds from a local archaeological site. What do these tell us about the past? Discuss why should we be careful in our interpretations.

Things in our rubbish bags are:

Local sites we examine are:


Skeleton Recording Sheet

Illustrates the importance of recording your findings. Discuss different ways to make a record of an event. Look at the finds of a dig - what would be the best way to record this? Look at a skeleton recording form. Make a list of the bones that might be found in a dig (adapt this for different audiences e.g left hand or scapula etc.) Complete a skeleton recording form by colouring in the bones that were found. Discuss why skeletons are recorded in this way. Discuss why recording is important.

Example of a skeleton recording sheet:



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