Researchers will discuss the archaeology of trees, including how a burial date of an Iron Age princess was discovered thanks to tree rings at the University of Birmingham's Arts and Science Festival.   

Now in its fifth year, the Arts & Science Festival revolves around the theme of Land and Water, with a week-long festival of exhibitions, talks, screenings, concerts and workshops taking place, inspired by research, ideas, science and culture .

Professor Alice Roberts and Dr Jeremy Pritchard will lead the talk on the archaeology of trees explaining how scientists can help to unpick the secrets of archaeological sites, including a curious case of the discovery of an Iron Age princess.

Laura Milner from the University of Birmingham Arts & Science Festival said: 

‘This is the biggest year yet for the Arts & Science Festival and we’re venturing off campus and into the city for many of our events. We are delighted to be working with the likes of mac Birmingham, Grand Union, Birmingham Open Media, Ikon Gallery and the Electric Cinema as we celebrate research and collaboration in Birmingham.’ 

It’s a little known fact that Joseph Chamberlain – British statesman and mayor of Birmingham – was a collector of exotic orchids. World-renowned expert on orchids, Philip Seaton, will visit Winterbourne House & Garden for the Arts & Science Festival for a discussion and demonstration on conserving orchids; a must for the gardener and history enthusiast.

Mac Birmingham host a programme of film screenings and talks devoted to Homer’s Odyssey. These include a premiere screening of a new film – The Odyssey – that follows the work of the great French ocean-going adventurer Jacques Yves Cousteau, and a showing of the much-loved O Brother Where Art Thou. Meanwhile budding writers can take part in a workshop devoted to the Midlands Odyssey, putting their ingenuity in a re-writing of Homer’s classic text, set in the English Midlands. 

Music has long been recognised as a tool for therapy, with the ability to profoundly touch the human spirit. Scientists at the University of Birmingham have been working with Sampad South Asian Arts to look at the impact of traditional Qawwali (devotional) music on the brain, and their findings will be celebrated at Music Makes Waves, a day of discussion with scientists, researchers and artists looking at how music helps us to make sense of the world around us. 

Soho House in Handsworth is host for a day of free activities, including creative writing and What’s What with James Watt, a look at the life of this great figure of the Industrial Revolution. 

There are numerous exhibitions taking place during the week, around the city and on campus, including at Birmingham Open Media (BOM), the Bramall Music Building, Winterbourne House and Garden and Lapworth Museum of Geology

For media enquiries please contact Rebecca Hume, Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on 0121 414 9041.

Read the full programme at www.birmingham.ac.uk/artsandsciencefestival

The University of Birmingham is home to a diverse cultural offer, which includes public museums, galleries, archives, libraries and cultural venues. 

Our cultural collections and venues deliver innovative and high quality research, teaching and public engagement.

Together they present a diverse range of events and performances throughout the year.

For more information visit www.birmingham.ac.uk/culture