Archaeological Detectives at Baden Powell School, Poole

December 8th, 2011

Last Friday Gemma Ingason and Katie Card joined pupils at Baden Powell and St Peter’s Middle School to each deliver five one-hour workshops on the Tudors for Year 5 and World War Two for Year 6.

Pupils at Baden Powell and St Peter’s Middle School enjoying the workshop

Pupils at Baden Powell and St Peter’s Middle School enjoying the workshop

The sessions began by introducing how maritime archaeologists find out about the past by using different methods such as diving, research and geophysical survey.

Year 5 became detectives identifying artefacts from a mystery box and trying to work out who their owner was. Children examined coins, medieval pottery, wooden pulley, nit combs and a potato. They discovered the owner was a Tudor sailor. Students discussed what life would have been like on board a Tudor ship.

Meanwhile in Year 6, the children identified fragments recovered from the seabed and tried to work out what they came from. They were excited to discover that the artefacts belonged to a German aeroplane called a Junkers JU 88.

One lucky pupil from each class donned an authentic aviator’s suit. The class discussed the different parts of the uniform, including a scarf map, knife tied to the suit with a string and woolly gloves.

The children were brilliant and very much enjoyed learning about their maritime past.

Trying on an authentic WWI aviator’s suit

Trying on an authentic WWI aviator’s suit

New Teacher’s Packs Online

April 7th, 2011

Time Travelling By Water, Wessex Archaeology’s Coastal and Marine archaeology outreach programme, has developed two new workshops as part of the English Heritage funded project, Assessing Boats and Ships.

The project looked at boats and ships lost around the coast of England between 1860-1950. Information gathered from these shipwrecks was used to provide guidance on how to assess the significance of newly discovered shipwrecks.

The reports written as part of this project have been disseminated via the Time Travelling By Water programme from Wessex Archaeology. Workshops on Victorian and World War 2 boats and ships were developed and run in schools. This has been supplemented by the creation of two new teacher packs filled with activities and information to support lessons.

Children can learn about different classes, or use, of vessels in the Victorian period. As well as investigating how shipbuilding methods changed dramatically during the Industrial Revolution. WW2 activities include a battleships game with codes to break and ships to deploy and destroy. Plus children can adapt a civilian vessel for the war effort demonstrating wartime requisitioning.

The Teacher’s Packs are suitable for KS2 and KS3 history classes. As well as extracurricular clubs, home-schoolers, Young Archaeologist’s Clubs, and anyone who wants to learn more about our underwater heritage.

Each pack is free to download and use. Visit our Teacher’s Pack page to see all the resources you need to explore the coastal and marine heritage.


Festival of British Archaeology 2010 celebrations at Salisbury Museum

July 26th, 2010

Morris dancing at Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum

Sarah, one of our Coastal and Marine Learning and Access Officers joined the Wessex team for Medieval mayhem at Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum’s “Pilgrims and Pageants” Festival of British Archaeology 2010 celebrations last weekend.

It was a great day, with the sun shining and a record number of people coming along to join in with the many fun hands-on activities on offer.

Salisbury Museum selected the medieval theme for the day, “Pilgrims and Pageants”, because 150 years ago the museum collection was started through the discovery, in Salisbury, of a medieval drain packed full of artefacts.

To highlight the Drainage Collection, as it is called, Wessex Archaeology reconstructed the watery drain and its contents for people to get their hands wet and explore – fortunately our drain was not as smelly or dirty as a real medieval drain!

We also had sandpit excavations, pilgrim badge and heraldic shield making as well as Time Team’s Phil Harding around to answer people’s questions.

Families also got the opportunity to see traditional Morris dancing and re-enactments of medieval fighting.

The day ended fantastically with the pageant parade. Led by a dragon, the children made fancy dress and hobby horses and followed noisily around the outside of the museum. A great day for everyone involved – looking forward to next year already.

Project Review Shows Success of Time Travelling by Water

January 20th, 2010

Time Travelling by WaterTime Travelling by Water began in January 2008 with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The aim was for Time Travelling by Water staff to conduct 70 school visits, appear at 5 event days, conduct 12 talks to community groups and host a website. The HLF-funded stage of the project is now at its end and we are delighted to announce that we have exceeded all expectations by conducting 121 school visits, appearing at 9 event days and delivering 13 talks to community groups. Over the course of this two year project over 10,000 people have had access to their marine and coastal heritage through the work of Time Travelling by Water. This is a huge achievement – especially given the often inaccessible nature of our submerged heritage. As this phase of the Time Travelling by Water project comes to a close, join us to look back at our achievements over the past two years in our project review booklet. As for the future – Time Travelling by Water has been so successful that we are confident that we will be able to continue to deliver high quality educational resources, information and activities. Watch this space!

Teacher’s Packs Now Online

January 20th, 2010

Tudor SeafaringFollowing the huge success of the Time Travelling by Water school workshops we have combined our resources and knowledge into teaching packs that explore the marine and coastal archaeology of Tudor seafaring, local history and WW2. The activities and information in the packs are suitable for KS2 and KS3 classes, GAT groups, extra-curricular clubs, home-schoolers, Young Archaeologist’s Clubs and anyone who wants to learn more about our underwater heritage. Each pack is fun, informative and is entirely free for you to download and use. Visit our Teacher’s Packs page where you will find all of the resources needed to begin exploring your marine, coastal and riverine heritage.

Merry Christmas from Time Travelling by Water

December 8th, 2009

TTBW TreeWessex Archaeology sponsored a Christmas tree in St. Thomas’s Church, Salisbury, and decorated it with boats from the Time Travelling by Water timeline. The tree added a festive air to the church from the 1st till the 6th of December and stood alongside 114 other trees, all of which had been sponsored and decorated by local churches, communities, schools and individuals. The story was covered by BBC Wiltshire.

The Wessex Archaeology tree is now on display in our head offices in Salisbury. To download and make your own Time Travelling by Water tree decorations, click here or visit the Resources page.

A Day with the Divers

October 29th, 2009

One of Alex\'s photographs of the diveIn October Alex Pope joined Wessex Archaeology for one week’s work experience, following successful results in his GCSEs. Whilst he was with us he spent a day on board Wessex Archaeology’s dive vessel as our marine and coastal archaeologists investigated a site near Poole, Dorset. Here he was able to see first-hand what our divers do when they survey and investigate a protected wreck site. Read his account of a day spent on board the dive vessel as our team explored the Swash Channel wreck.

Photo Exhibition at Newhaven Fort

October 16th, 2009

For the past two months Newhaven Fort, in Sussex, has hosted an exhibition of photos featuring shipwrecks off the Sussex coast that were taken by Wessex Archaeology. The Fort recieves many visitors who have had the opportunity to explore their local marine heritage whilst enjoying the many displays and exhibits at the Fort itself.

Philip Baldock, Curator and Education Officer at Newhaven Fort said, ‘The exhibition was very well received and demonstrated to our visitors that archaeology is not just about “digging things out of the ground” and that marine archaeology is not just about treasure ships. It also showed that history is literally on our doorsteps.’

We’d like to thank the staff at the Fort for hosting the display.

New Podcast Online

September 24th, 2009

The view from the survey vesselThe latest Time Travelling by Water podcast is now online. In this, the 13th in the popular Archaeocast series, we join our geophysical survey team as they study Area 240 which lies deep below the North Sea, eight miles east of Great Yarmouth. It was from this site that 75 Palaeolithic handaxes were dredged in early 2008. Listen as geophysical surveyor Tina Michel describes the work that Wessex Archaeology are doing to understand this enigmatic site.

Hampshire Water Festival 2009

August 14th, 2009

Marine Archaeologist Niall Callan Talks to Members of the PublicTime Travelling by Water appeared at the Hampshire Water Festival for the second year running on the 25th and 26th July. The Festival celebrates all aspects of the water around us – from boats on the river, to the animals and insects in it, to the archaeology below it and much more besides. Hundreds of people visited the Time Travelling by Water stand during the Festival to meet our hard-working archaeologists and learn about the range and variety of artefacts that can be found in our seas and rivers. Marine archaeology is often inaccessible so we are pleased that events like this one allow everyone to handle their heritage and explore our past.