News The countdown is on for new gallery opening at Maidstone Museum

The countdown is on for new gallery opening at Maidstone Museum  image

Excitement is building for the new archaeology gallery ‘Lives In Our Landscape’ at Maidstone Museum which is due to open to the public in just a few weeks, on Wednesday 5 June.

The exciting new family-friendly gallery will tell the story of how people have lived in the area over a vast span of time. Objects dating back more than 600,000 years will be on show, from the earliest type of humans hunting animals with stone tools in a forested landscape, up to the medieval period, when Maidstone became a bustling market town.

Cllr Stephen Thompson, Cabinet Member for Healthier Stronger Communities at Maidstone Borough Council said:

“The new ‘Lives In Our Landscape’ gallery is superb.  I am sure visitors will be delighted with how much there is to see and do! Visiting this gallery will really help us imagine how people learned to thrive in Kent all those years ago, adapting to challenges and making such creative use of their collective talents.”

An interactive touchscreen map will also allow visitors to explore what has been unearthed in the borough of Maidstone.

Visitors will be able to take part in hands-on activities, handling objects and trying on costumes and interacting digitally and physically with the collections.

Maidstone Museum Manager, Natalie Moor said:

“The gallery will transport people through time and allow them to imagine how a person lived thousands of years ago. The skeleton and film of the Eastry woman, buried nearly 1,500 years ago is a great example of this. They tell her story and give clues about her life through scientific analysis of her teeth and bones.”

“Another great example is the recreation of what a man from the 15th century could have looked like after a skull from Trottiscliffe has been scanned and investigated. Visitors to the new gallery will be able to look into the face of someone who lived around 600 years ago. Maidstone Museum is free to visit and we look forward to welcoming you to see all the wonderful artefacts which tell us so much about our past.”

Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) own and run the Maidstone Museums which includes Maidstone Carriage Museum. Sources of funding for the new gallery include £100,000 from the William and Edith Oldham Charitable Trust, matched by £100,000 raised by Maidstone Museums’ Foundation, together with £389,000 from the Council. It is also supported by the Council for British Archaeology South East who have provided a grant for replica objects for the gallery.

The Kent Archaeological Society (KAS) has also donated £50,000 and the museum team have worked in partnership with them to select objects.

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Photo shows  digitisation reference photography as part of the preparations for the new gallery.

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