… get 1000 finds for Lancashire and Cumbria on the database this year? I shouldn’t be writing the blog, but I do it anyway to just rest my brain a little bit.
There is a rally coming up on the 15th/16th Dec in Cumbria and I am worried about that – will write about it after it happened to keep you in the loop.
In the meantime I have been databasing like mad. I have managed 950 or so finds this year which seems ludicrous compared to counties like Suffolk or Norfolk, but I only had one volunteer doing some databasing for me in summer and at any other time it was just me… and I am still jetsetting around Lancashire Primary Schools and preparing sessions in the meantime. I got contacted by yet another school – this time a school near Blackpool – who want me to teach 30 Year 6 kids archaeology, between 1 and 1 1/2 hours in January. There will be a write-up, watch this space!
And I got another bag of potsherds in from a field walking trip in Carlisle… and no time to record the finds this year! Well, they will have to go on the pile for 2008… oh, my!
And now…. back to the database!
This is just a quick note (which hopefully shows up on google and other search engines!!!) to say that I am happy to visit more schools to do Archaeology Sessions with kids, Year 2-6! I do visit Secondary Schools as well, but haven’t got much experience in doing so! However, I have been to several primary schools offering sessions in General Archaeology, Finds, Roman Archaeology and the Vikings (have a look at the images to see what resources I use)! I usually bring real artefacts for the children to handle and look at and a huge time line with images of artefacts and places!
If you’re a history co-ordinator or teacher at a school in Lancashire and Cumbria and interested in discussing a session or booking me (for free!), please give me a call or send me an email – 01228 618760, firstname.lastname@example.org (Carlisle) and 01772 532175, email@example.com (Preston).
Before I forget – last week I went back to the lovely children (Year 5) of Carleton St Hilda’s Primary School in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, near Blackpool. This was my second visit as I didn’t get everything done when I went there back in October! The first time I had brought in my time line, finds and some work sheets which they children seem to enjoy… and remember, as I was to find out last week! The children still knew what archaeology is and that finds, especially pottery and flints, need to be handled with uttermost care and always over a table, close to the floor or held with two hands. They also remembered that you have to wash your hands after handling finds – surely that shows how much they enjoyed the session? While we just went through the time line quickly the first time, we did it with a bit more depth this time: every child was a allowed to pick an artefact and they learned that usually, artefacts are made from metal, glass, pottery, stone, bone or possibly plastic (the more modern ones!). We didn’t have any wooden or leather artefacts because wood and leather ‘rots’ in the ground, as they children knew. They looked at Stone Age chert debitage, a Bronze Age axehead, Roman coins, brooches and pottery, Medieval pottery and floor tiles, horse harness pendants, a coin and Victorian and Modern toys, a tooth brush, gun flints and a thimble – I hope that they learned that today we use stuff made from many more different materials than we did in the Bronze and Iron Age!!
I’d also brought sheets of a Roman tombstone activity which is not strictly speaking a ‘Portable Antiquity’, but one of the most important archaeological discoveries from Lancashire in the past 50 or 60 years. I thought that the kids would enjoy looking at the gruesome scene on the tombstone (a Roman rider who just beheaded a barbarian, still holding his head in his right hand!), colouring it in and talking about it and why it’s so important for the county. They all loved this activity as well as the ‘Design your own tombstone’ one, which does not mean THEIR tombstone, but another one for the Roman soldier!
This school, too, asked me to come back in January to do an archaeology session with their Year 1, 3 and 4. Hurray!!!
I just got back from one of the nicest schools I have ever been in – Tatham Fells in North Lancashire, a small village primary school with only 33 pupils stretching reception – Year 6 (!). I had been asked to come in for 2 hours on this Tuesday morning and to carry out a general archaeology session with their Years 2-6. I had told the teacher about the time line exercise I do – as well as artefacts that I can bring in for the children to handle and look at.
I have to say that it went really well – the children were well-behaved and seemed genuinely interested in history and archaeology. Some of them had never heard of the Romans or the Greeks before (Year 2) and others knew quite a lot (Years 5 and 6), but these differences didn’t matter much as even the smaller children could describe pottery really well (they learned about the difference between rim, body and bottom sherds) and Roman coins (denarii, sestertii and aureus) and their denominations. Most children knew the answers to my questions even if they didn’t know the correct terms (surely a ‘logo’ is the modern equivalent to a medieval ‘coat of arms’!?).
I haven’t got much time to write more, but I guess the teachers and children liked our session (my volunteer Emily Mead had come with me to give me a hand) as they have invited us back for another session after Christmas! One of the reason is that the kids are mainly farmer’s kids – and they seem to have stacks of finds at home which are unidentified! Next time, when I come in we’ll identify finds together and see if they’re really Roman and Prehistoric artefacts or possibly Medieval or Victorian! Watch this space!!!