Time Travelling by Water Praised by Ofsted

During a recent visit to Chilmark and Fonthill Bishop primary school in Wiltshire Time Travelling by Water became the accidental subject of an Ofsted inspection. The school, which was rated as ‘Outstanding’, was praised for its focus on enrichment. ‘For example,’ states the Ofsted report, ‘in one history lesson both pupils and adults were enthralled by the task of discovering the use of various artefacts brought in by Wessex Archaeology.’ High praise indeed!

Time Travelling by Water workshops are still available for 2009. If you would like your school to benefit from a hands on approach to history, please contact education officer Gemma Ingason to make a booking.

South Wiltshire Young Archaeologists’ Club

The Young Archaeologists dive in 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.

TTBW podcast now online

Diver Matt emerges after a diveThe first Time Travelling by Water podcast is now online. It is the eleventh in the popular Archaeocast series and the first to feature an interview with one of our divers direct from the seabed.

Listen to the podcast to hear divers Graham Scott, Matt Astill and Niall Callan explain the work that Wessex Archaeology do in support of the Protection of Wrecks Act (1973) and to hear Matt describe the Norman’s Bay wreck from below the waves.

Southampton Young Archaeologists’ Club

Jam jar snow globes made by Southampton YACTime 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.

Black History at KS3

It was announced on Tuesday that the new secondary curriculum for history will include the teaching of the slave trade, its causes and effects. This includes, and is intrinsically linked to, the development of British colonialism and its long term effects on people of other countries.

Time Travelling by Water is offering a free workshop to schools in the south west of England which complements this new secondary curriculum.

The SS Mendi: a forgotten story explores the archaeological wreck of the Mendi to learn about the men who perished when she sank in 1917. These men, black members of the South African Native Labour Corps, were travelling to France to assist in the war effort on behalf of the British Government.

Through an exploration of the wreck, which today lies off of the Isle of Wight, we discover how the Mendi relates to WW1, British colonialism, ethnicity and racism. We then examine the legacy of the Mendi – in South Africa she is a famous symbol of a racially divided past and an icon of unity and reconciliation. In Britain she is almost unknown.

Follow the links to learn more about the SS Mendi: a forgotten story and about other workshops offered by Time Travelling by Water. To book a workshop, contact us via the tab above.

Ice Age Exploration at Trowbridge Museum

How big was a woolly mammoth and what tools did people in the past use to hunt them? Intrepid visitors to Trowbridge Museum found out the answer to these questions on Thursday when Time Travelling by Water joined forces with the Trowbridge Archaeology Group to explore past Ice Ages.

During an Ice Age the earth becomes colder and water freezes into ice sheets. At these times land which is today underwater (and studied by marine archaeologists) is dry enough for people and the animals they hunted to live on. This means that some of the best evidence for exploring Ice Age people can be found under the water. Fittingly then our brave volunteers donned snorkels to find mammoth remains and explore ancient prehistoric tools on our submerged virtual seabed. 

But how big was a woolly mammoth? To answer this question we looked to our feet. We made life-size replicas of mammoth footprints and drew our own footprints inside them. We found out that a mammoth’s foot is 13 times bigger than one of our own – using a size 3 ½ shoe – so a woolly mammoth would have been around 13 times bigger than one of our volunteers. They were around 3 metres tall and 3 metres long from tusk to tail. To remind us of what these impressive beasts looked like we modelled them in clay – though of course not at actual size. And we marvelled at how people in the past hunted such large creatures.

Step Into the Ice Age!

Time Travelling by Water is joining forces with the Trowbridge Archaeology Group this summer to step into the Ice Age! 

On Thursday 21st August we will be at Trowbridge Museum hosting some mammoth activities. You can drop in anytime between 10 and 12.30 to join in the fun.

We’ll be searching underwater for mammoth remains and exploring real woolly mammoth bones from thousands of years ago. Visit the museum on the 21st to see how your footprint compares to a mammoth’s and find out how our distant ancestors were able to hunt these massive animals. Play pin the tail on the mammoth and make your own clay mini mammoth to take home!

Hampshire Water Festival a Success

Time Travelling by Water celebrated the Hampshire Water Festival in Romsey last weekend.

Rather appropriately the forecast was for rain and it didn’t disappoint! Hampshire residents weren’t put off by the deluge and the festival was a huge success.

Intrepid explorers visiting the Time Travelling by Water stand learnt about the history of Romsey and dived deep to uncover a range of submerged artefacts – all of which were discovered underwater. This reminded us of how important water has been to people in the past whilst the festival celebrated how important water is to us today.

Hampshire Water Festival

The River Test in RomseyTime Travelling by Water will be joining the Hampshire Water Festival on the 9th August 2008 in Romsey.

The Festival celebrates the vital role that water and the natural environment play in our everyday lives. With so much of the water we use hidden in pipes or under the ground it is easy to forget how important it has been for people in the past.

The festival is being held in several locations throughout the town. Since we’re intending to get a little wet, the Time Travelling by Water stand will be in Memorial Park.

Come and visit the stand to find out about the history and prehistory of Romsey and how it has thrived and developed on its riverine setting over the past 10,000 years.

Younger visitors can become underwater archaeologists to explore, excavate and record some real submerged finds using diving and archaeological equipment. Whilst visiting us, take the opportunity to talk to our marine and coastal archaeologists and ask them your questions about what we do and how we do it!

National Archaeology Day

National Archaeology Day 2008 was a great success!

Budding archaeologists who visited the TTBW stand explored a range of archaeological finds that have come from under the water. Artefacts found by marine archaeologists must be kept wet to prevent them drying out too quickly and breaking apart. As all of our finds have to be kept submerged we explored them by plunging our arms into the murky water, and braver visitors donned diving masks and snorkels to get a closer look!

With wet arms and faces we explored the finds to discover which came from the last Ice Age and separated the mammoth teeth from the modern metals.

The day was hugely successful with over 600 visitors enjoying the events, activities and displays that were organised at Salisbury Museum to celebrate this important day in the archaeological calendar.