CAHA had the opportunity of collaborating with the UoB Secondary School in the spring semester 2018 to run an Archaeology Club as part of the school’s enrichment programme. The sessions ran each Monday over eight weeks and covered a wide range of topics relating to the ancient world.
The club began with a session led by CAHA’s Head of Department, Dr Gareth Sears, who brought ancient Roman coins and a Latin inscription from the CAHA Museum’s collection. Club participants had the opportunity to handle coins (Fig. 1), and learn all about their social and historical context.
Fig. 1. Dr. Sears with UoB Secondary School students investigating Roman coins.
Amy Porter, a PhD student at CAHA, led a really interesting session on ancient religion and helped students identify differences and similarities between myths across several ancient cultures. This was followed with a session led by Guy Kirkman-Smith, another of CAHA’s PhD students, whose session on ancient Greek helped the students realise that they knew lots more ancient Greek then they might have thought! Heavy snow and administrative days meant that the club had a long mid-term break, but we returned with a bang, with Madeline Doxford, a CAHA MA student, leading a session on the ancient Parthenon in Athens. During this session, students had to build a replica Parthenon (Fig 2) using recycled household material that Madeline had been collecting for the session.
Fig. 2. UoB Secondary School students building replica temples.
The following session was also led by one of CAHA’s MA students, Lluís Jerez Bertolín. During the session, the students planned a Roman spectacle including beast hunts and gladiatorial combat in order to gain favour with the Roman people. Our penultimate session was led by Dr Mike Hodder who told the group all about the archaeology and history of Birmingham including the history of the University of Birmingham’s campus (Fig. 3).
Fig. 3. Dr Mike Hodder and UoB Secondary School students investigating artefacts from Metchley Roman fort.
Fig. 4. UoB Secondary School students putting together a skeleton.
During our final session with Dr David Smith, students had the opportunity to assemblage skeletal remains (Fig. 4) and discover what skeletons can tell us about ancient life and death. Over the eight sessions, the group had the opportunity to learn about and investigate topics on ancient history, archaeology, and society of the Greek and Roman world. They handled ancient artefacts, learned to recognise the difference between a male and female skull, and built a temple from recycled cardboard. Everyone who led a session commented on how interested, engaged, and knowledgeable the students were, which made the sessions all the more fun. Our sincerest thanks to all those who participated in the sessions and helped make the Archaeology Club such a successful programme!