Heritage Education – Archaeology Mini Dig

Archaeology Mini Dig

A special summer workshop for Key Stage 2 based at St John’s Museum.

Bring your class to St John’s Museum in Warwick and experience a day of archaeological exploration techniques.  A special summer workshop designed in partnership with Archaeology Warwickshire.

This day project gives your class the chance to experience real archaeological exploration techniques.  Pupils are encouraged to use investigative skills and learn about the process of undertaking an archaeological dig and what the finds can tell you about the past, illustrated with real Warwickshire examples and real and replica objects from our collections covering a range of time periods.

This workshop has been designed in partnership with Archaeology Warwickshire to celebrate the Council for British Archaeology’s (CBA) Festival of Archaeology.  It meets key requirements for the history curriculum in respect to questioning evidence, thinking critically, sifting arguments and developing perspective and judgement.  It also meets key requirements of elements of the maths curriculum: measuring, recording, using mathematical formulae and the English curriculum with respect to adapting language and style to a specific format and writing clearly, accurately and coherently.

The day is led by a Heritage Education Group Leader and includes:

  • How to plan an archaeological dig using historical maps from our collections
  • How to plan an archaeological dig using historical maps from our collections
  • The chance to uncover real and replica archaeological finds in our miniature dig
  • The opportunity to practice real archaeological techniques such as measuring, sorting and recording finds
  • Skills in interpreting archaeological finds
  • Hands on archaeological techniques, including reconstructing a human skull, reassembling broken Anglo Saxon pottery, using mathematical formulae to calculate key human characteristics and creating 3D models of some of their finds.

Pupils will be able to practise skills in:

  • Chronological understanding – place their archaeological finds within chronological order and place them in a timeline of British history.
  • Change and continuity – discuss the significant changes between their various archaeological finds.
  • Significance – explain the significance of their finds and what it tells us about life in the past.  What are the limitations of archaeological techniques and where else could we look for information?
  • Interpretation – to use objects and archaeological evidence and techniques to identify characteristics from different time periods.

Key skills:

  • Historic enquiry – comparing/contrasting information, identifying and analysing evidence
  • Use of resource – use of different archaeological and historical sources to find out about life in the past.

The workshop lasts approximately 3 hours and runs from 10.15 am to 2.15 pm.  Part of the workshop takes place in our outdoor classroom.  This workshop is suitable for up to 2 classes at a time.

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