Archaeology at Hanging Heaton

Working on a simulated excavation in the classroom

Working on a simulated excavation in the classroom

This week I’m working on an archaeology project at Hanging Heaton J&I School. The format of the project is similar to many on which I’ve worked on in the past. In the morning we have a classroom session to help pupils to understand the basic principles of archaeology and in the afternoon we go out and work on a real excavation in the school grounds.

By the time the project has finished every pupil in the school will have been involved. This makes it interesting from the teaching point of view in that it has served once again to demonstrate the different capabilities of children of different ages. It also emphasizes the need to differentiate your lessons accordingly.

 Working on site

Working on site

The finds have been interesting too and very numerous: you might almost say that they are coming up by the bucket load. A wide range of objects have been recovered over the past three days. These have included the usual 19th/20th century pottery, vessel and window glass, a couple of 2 pence coins, marbles, a ceramic doorknob, and an oyster shell. The marbles and the coins probably represent chance losses from the pockets of children playing on the field but I suspect that the others may result from the landscaping of the site when the present school was built.

Tomorrow is the final day of the excavation. Let’s hope that the finds are as plentiful as they were today. It might compensate a little for the rain which has been forecast.



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