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
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
Time Travelling by Water will be in Norfolk for the next two weeks to support Wessex Archaeology’s Area 240 project. Our Area 240 team are exploring an area of seabed 13km east of Great Yarmouth, where flint tools and animal remains from thousands of years ago were found last year. Time Travelling by Water will be talking to schools, community groups and appearing at event days such as the Royal Norfolk Show. Hope to see you there!
For more information on this or any Time Travelling by Water project please contact education officer Gemma Ingason.
Last Saturday Time Travelling by Water visited the South Wiltshire branch of the Young Archaeologists’ Club to help them to learn about marine archaeology.
After an introduction to the topic, our intrepid archaeologists set about exploring some underwater artefacts hidden in buckets. They couldn’t see the finds and used a reference collection to work out what they were. This is what our divers sometimes have to do when diving to great depths or in murky water. For realism and to give the YAC’s a feel for what it is really like to be submerged in British waters, the water was not heated!
We finished the session by using everything we had learnt about marine archaeology to create some marine themed snow globes to remind us of the day.
Time Travelling by Water joined forces with the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology at the weekend to explore underwater archaeology with Southampton Young Archaeologists’ Club.
Alison Hamer from HWTMA taught the Young Archaeologists about maritime archaeology and showed them some real artefacts that have come from below the waves. One brave volunteer dressed up in a dry suit complete with air cylinder and flippers to experience what it is really like to be an underwater archaeologist.
Every October Southampton YAC takes part in the Big Draw, run by The Campaign for Drawing. Following Alison’s introduction we used all of the things we had just learnt to make some marine themed snow globes with TTBW Project Officer Gemma Ingason, as our entry into this year’s Big Draw competition. The Young Archaeologist’s created shipwrecks, sunken cities and submarines and surrounded them with divers, fish and even a few mermaids. A little water, food dye and glitter completed the project leaving us with beautiful lasting reminders of all that we had learnt.
Time Travelling by Water spent the weekend in Purton, Gloucestershire. Here, where the bank of the Severn Estuary meets the Gloucester-Sharpness canal, are the hulks of around 80 boats that were deliberately beached to stop the bank eroding and the two water courses joining. The first vessels sailed up what was then a shingle bank in the early 1900′s and over the following 90 years around 70 further vessels were added. This was such an effective method of stabilising the bank that the site now consists of a broad strip of grassy land with the remains of over 30 of the hulks visible on the surface. The rest of the vessels now lie beneath the grass. This amazing collection represents over 100 years of maritime history and is an important site for learning about our seafaring past.
The aim of Friday’s activities was to conduct a geophysical feasibility survey over selected portions of the site in order to locate some of the buried vessels. This was done by surveying two areas in detail and scanning a larger area to the west of the site. The areas were identified for us by local historian Paul Barnett who has spent many years researching and generating interest in the hulks. The survey was a great success! Whilst the results of the scan survey are still being processed and examined, initial study of the results from the detailed survey show the traces of several vessels that now lie beneath the turf. These are shown on an earlier map of the site but our survey shows one vessel in particular that was reported to have drifted into the estuary is still in place. Now that we have demonstrated that this type of survey is effective on this site it is hoped that further work of this nature will be conducted in the future.
Time Travelling by Water chose this weekend to conduct the survey as our friends from the Nautical Archaeological Society (NAS) were also on site. The NAS were recording vessels with local volunteers in order to keep an accurate record of the location and condition of the hulks. This is important as the vessels are under threat, both from natural decomposition of the wood from which some of them are made, and from human actions such as vandalism and arson. The work of the NAS and their volunteers last weekend will help to show people in the future what the site was like in 2008. Younger visitors to the site took part in a scavenger hunt and did their own vessel recording in the form of ‘postcard to the future’. The children wrote their thoughts on the site and described some of the vessels as they are today on a blank postcard that will be kept by Paul Barnett with the site archive. This way, their postcards will remain alongside the work of some of the foremost researchers of the Purton Hulks and enable future generations to read what people think of this important site today.