Information for Schools and Teachers
The Museum is offering schools free, additional workshops, linked to the Discovering the Ancient Don Gorge project (for details of the workshops see below).
Sessions are available on the following dates:
3rd-7th & 10th-14th December 2007
17th - 21st March 2008
Morning or afternoon sessions can be specified at time of booking
Early booking is essential. Please choose your preferred morning or afternoon for the week you would like to attend (please have a second and third choice ready) and contact us to arrange a visit:
Click here to enquire or to make a booking.
Blood, Sweat and Tears: Science in Archaeology
Museum Based Education sessions for the 'Discovering the Don Gorge' Project
Suitable for: KS2 & 3
Session Length: 1 - 2 hrs
National Curriculum themes covered: Science, History, Geography, Citizenship, ICT.
Students will achieve the following:
- Discover how archaeologists use a variety of scientific methods to unlock the secrets of the past
- Examine how the natural limestone and aggregates extraction (quarried stone products) is important
in the study of prehistory, particularly the Palaeolithic.
As building materials for the Romans
In modern society
- Conduct hands-on experiments and handle real archaeological material from the Don Gorge to discover the points raised in parts1. and 2. of the objectives.
- The children will create a blog/Video diary of their visit which you will be given instructions on how to upload as a post visit activity.
The students will use a variety of scientific instruments and materials throughout the session to study the archaeology of the Don Gorge, and to glean information from the artefacts, which builds an archaeological narrative of the past.
The following equipment and materials will be used:
- Microscopes (incl. a digital microscope), litmus paper and an ultra-violet light source for looking at flint objects, seeds and pollen and human/animal bone.
- Callipers, pottery-combs and rulers for studying and reconstructing Roman pots
- Digital recording equipment (video-camera) for recording session diary.
The Museum will also provide all other necessary equipment required for the session such as: pens, pencils, paper, worksheets and written instructions.
The session will begin with an introduction to the archaeology of the Don Gorge and it's link to aggregates, then move on to an overview of the use of science in archaeology. We will also briefly cover what we will be examining during the session, explain the process of creating a 'blog' of your experience, and outline any health and safety issues.
The class will be divided into groups; ideally, no more than five children in each. The students will then discover through a set of up to 6 practical hands-on activities, how archaeologists reconstruct the past and the lives of individuals and communities who inhabited the Don Gorge.
The ranges of activities which the students will explore are as follows:
- Building a section of Roman road using limestone blocks and gravel, to discover the importance of quarried stone (aggregates) through history.
- Carrying out microwear and residue analysis on flint tools using a digital microscope, to learn more about what tools were used for and how they were used.
- Measuring, recording and analysing Roman pottery sherds to discover how archaeologists can reconstruct ancient artefacts date them and discover what they were used for.
- Using microscopes and identification charts to investigate seed, pollen and bone samples to reconstruct prehistoric and Anglo-Saxon diet.
- Look at real archaeological objects from the project area, and play a game to discover what survives archaeologically in the ground and why, and to raise awareness of conservation issues.
- Using samples of human bone and teeth (medical grade replicas and photographs) to investigate archaeological questions such as: where did the person come from? How old were they and what sex were they? Did they suffer from illness or disease? And can we discover from their remains what they ate?
- Digitally recording a diary of your visit to upload a blog on your own private section of the project website as an after visit activity.