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The University of Southampton
ArchaeologyPart of Humanities

Research project: The Van - Dormant - Dormant

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A Ford Transit Van J641VUJ was acquired in 1991 by the Museum, initially as a vehicle for our archaeology department.

The van

After many scrapes (literally!) in this guise, it passed over to the general transport pool in the late 1990s and remained in faithful service until 2004 when it became the workhorse for the maintenance department. After failing an MoT in 2005 it stood for many months in Furrows commercial vehicle compound.

Now, after many years of carrying various artefacts, the van has now become the artefact in an unusual project to explore the archaeology of a vehicle. The aim is to 'excavate' the van under archaeological conditions. The project is being run by Dr John Schofield, visiting lecturer at the University of Bristol, and former Ironbridge Archaeology staff member Cassandra Newland. Oral history of peoples' memories of the van will also be incorporated into the study.

A project design which outlines the overall scope and methodology of the project can be downloaded here. Updates on the progress of the project can be found on our contemporary archaeology blog.

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