This week I visited the children in Year 3 at St James’ School, Bournemouth, to share with them how we use archaeology to learn about the Romans, their topic for this half-term. We started with a presentation to show the types of artefacts that archaeologists find on Romano-British sites and what these tell us about the people who used them. We looked at the changes that the Romans brought to Britain including new styles of building; different types of food and drink, and the way they were prepared and served. The children also learnt about a large-scale pottery industry that was in operation around the Poole Harbour and Wareham area. They asked lots of interesting questions, including how we actually know that something comes from the Roman period. 

It was then time for some activities and they had the opportunity to try to identify some of the tile types they had seen on the slides (the tegulae and imbrices from Roman roofs and box-flue tiles from a hypocaust) and make a mosaic out of tesserae. They divided Roman pottery into different types and then counted and weighed the sherds. They became archaeological detectives, describing a range of replica objects and trying to decide what they would have been used for, and had fun dressing up. The object that provoked the most interest? The ear scoop!
To find out more about school workshops visit our education page.
By Grace Jones, Archaeologist/Finds Specialist