Sunday, August 10, 2014

Archaeology Project 2014

We had another attempt at Dr F's Archaeology Project this year, and it was definitely more successful than its three predecessors. In the Michaelmas term, as the children began learning about Vindolanda, we talked about the survival of different materials and objects. We found an open-topped wooden box and began making a list of things to put in it.
The children suggested items and found them around school or in my collection. This year's box included flint, lead, copper, steel, glass, unfired and fired clay, wax, wood with writing on, a walnut, toast, a cow's tooth and a photo of the class printed on paper. We made lists of the objects, to check later.
We took the box outside to the edge of the playground by the woods, along with a spade. This time, we used the iPad to record exactly where we had dug the hole. (One year, we couldn't find it at all!)
We managed to bury the box so that the top edge was just below the soil level.
We could see the burial site from the classroom, and all year pupils have speculated on the progress of decay and change, especially in wet weather.
We excavated the box. in June, laying bare the top outline first, and recording the process with the iPad and camera.
The children explored the box contents carefully, and placed everything they found in a plastic tub. We were in a bit of a hurry for this part, and missed a couple of objects which were excavated by enthusiastic Reception pupils!
We examined our finds, washed them, checked them against the list, and photographed them.
The project bookended Year 5's Minimus lessons, and was a great reminder of the close links between the characters and stories of Minimus and the archaeology of Vindolanda.