A Crash-Course on Time Travel for Beginners

P1000453As Doctor Who would put it, archaeology is all about the ‘wibbly-wobbly… timey-wimey… stuff.’  That is, recovery, analysis and interpretation of the traces that people from the past have left behind. This term, ACA have led a series of crash-courses in using these archaeological skills across all of Time And Relative Dimensions in Space to introduce school-aged students to new knowledge, ideas and approaches that they can apply to a wide range of their curricular studies. Discovery Days aim to make learning about the past fun, inspiring and educational in a series of hands-on, group-based challenges.

These are photographs of the trainee time-travellers from All Saints Middle School who attended a Discovery Day on 16th November. Many of the students enjoyed an activity which involves analysing a modern day assemblage of rubbish to try and work out as much as they could about the household who threw it away, exactly as archaeologists try to reconstruct information about people in the past from their waste. As one student said, ‘I never know you could find out so much from rubbish!’ They all seemed to thoroughly enjoy their day and gained a lot of new skills from it, ‘I have learned a lot and had fun doing so. Also this has improved my knowledge and understanding of the subject.’

This week, we had 30 students from Sharnbrook Upper School, Westbourne Sports College and Sawtry Community College attend ‘The History of Medicine through Time’. Working with genuine archaeological human skeletons, the students learned to identify the bones in the body and lay them out in the correct way for display. They then learned more about the ways in which archaeologists can learn about the lives and deaths of people in the past from human remains and applied this with some background knowledge of medical techniques and practices to examine and explain why a mysterious collection of human bones were found in a Cambridgeshire garden. Many thanks to Georgina Billing and Emma Pomeroy for their willing help and osteological expertise on this day.

There are a limited number of places still available on next year’s term-time Discovery Days aimed at Years 7-9 and link to a wide range of curriculum subjects including History, Geography & Biology. Further information with the full list of dates and courses available this winter is on our website.

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