Rare insights into rural Roman Yorkshire with The Ryedale Hoard

PLB was called in to help when York Museums Trust wanted to develop a breathtaking scheme for their blockbuster temporary exhibition.

The Ryedale Hoard contains some of Yorkshire’s most significant Roman objects, including an 1,800-year-old bust of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. For the very first time in Yorkshire, visitors were able see this exciting new discovery and explore the mystery of who buried the Hoard and why.

This momentous discovery deserved a very special exhibition, and we knew exactly what to do.

Bringing the story to life

Our interpretive team set to work to showcase this extraordinary Roman archaeological discovery. We approached the project by creating a sense of exploration. To convey the immense importance of this find, exhibition visitors are swept across the Yorkshire countryside, culminating in a dramatic reveal of the Roman bronzes.

Our work on this prestigious temporary exhibition included:

  • Interpretive planning and research, to develop the themes, history and detection story that the museum wanted to convey to visitors
  • Creative scheme design, to ensure visitors feel the full impact of this momentous archaeological discovery
  • Graphic design and artworking, to bring together all the visual elements and create an identity for the exhibition
  • Audio visual production, to immerse visitors in the atmosphere, spark imaginations and build connections with the hoard
  • Installation site supervision and contractor management, to ensure all aspects of the project were delivered on time, to spec and within budget

The collection was discovered by metal detectorists in a field near Ampleforth in Ryedale, and it was presented alongside the museum’s existing Roman collection. To reflect the circumstances of the find we used large fabric banners, printed with scenic views of the area, to lead visitors through themed, interpretive displays.

The Ryedale Hoard itself is obscured from view, only to be revealed as visitors walk into the intimate, enclosed light-controlled space.

Rewriting regional history in record time

Before the discovery of The Ryedale Hoard, the presence of Romans in this area of North Yorkshire was little known. As a result, the find rewrites the history of the region.

Heading up a specialist team, and balancing historical significance with tight deadlines, we were able to deliver the design, production and installation of the whole project within a very short timeframe. This culminated in the opening of the first new exhibition at The Yorkshire Museum for over three years.

Take a closer look at The Ryedale Hoard.

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