The Latin Department were pleased to arrange this half term’s activity for the Main School Academic Forum. 30 pupils from Year 9 and Year 10 paid a visit to the Archaeology Museum at Nottingham University. The Museum has recently been relocated and is now housed at the Lakeside Arts Centre, and the contemporary setting provided a bright, fresh atmosphere within which to engage with the ancient artefacts. The Museum is home to a broad variety of objects ranging from flint axe heads of the Palaeolithic, to Roman objects from everyday life. A mammoth tooth, Roman funerary urns, jewellery and a selection of Roman weapons were some of the artefacts on display. Amazingly, the majority of these have been recovered from the Nottinghamshire region. Our pupils were given a guided tour of the exhibits by a resident PhD student who encouraged them to think about the ways in which the objects were decorated and what the imagery can tell us. The pupils also participated in a hands-on session with the museum’s curator. Equipped with latex gloves, the pupils were able to pass around and examine for themselves a number of ancient objects: ancient Egyptian representations of gods, Greek perfume vases, part of a large Roman amphora, Roman brooches, and a device for cleaning one’s ears with to name but a few.
The afternoon provided a rare opportunity to become fully engaged with the ancient artefacts both through guided appreciation and through personal handling. And in a broader respect, pupils were able to gain a little insight into the world of archaeology.