Three members of NG Archaeology Services visited Liberton Primary school. Two class visits were undertaken, both Primary 4, the student’s ages was ranging between 7-8 years of age. We set out 3 three stations specific to our professional archaeological specialisations. The three stations were as follows:
1. An "ask the archaeologist" station. Students were given the opportunity to ask about archaeology, what archaeologists really do and to form a discussion about the importance of archaeology and local history and heritage. There were also opportunities to handle real fieldwork tools (such as string line levels, tape measures, trowels, finds bags and permatrace) and high-vis to “dress up”, as well as photos of everyday working conditions for the kids to see. The aim is to help children visualise what archaeologists look like, what they really do and what equipment they need on a day to day basis. In a sense, the children could "feel" like an archaeologist through “dress-up” and imitation.
2. An animal bone station. At
this station, there were several animal bones for children to identify and experience the various textures and shapes of (such as cow long bones, skulls and sheep bones). An activity sheet accompanied the bones which comprised of open-ended questions so that students can imagine and visualise what animal skeletons look like and what their uses may be to different people of different time periods. This intended to be an imaginative thought provoking project about the diversity of animal exploitation in antiquity vis-à-vis the modern day.
3. An illustration and visualisation station. At this station there were tile puzzles and an object scene match activity. For the tiles, we constructed the puzzle from a tile we found at Goods Corner. This was to help children transfer the "imagined" problem solving of the tile puzzle to the "reality" of problem solving in archaeology, as well as engage with an object from the material culture of their local heritage. In this case the design and colour used on the tile and the shapes and designs of the objects. The object scene match puzzle aimed to show the "detective"-like skills that archaeologists use, and engage in the thought processes which direct us to link an object’s use and possible social associations which it may have held in the society of the time.
Children would visit each station for 10 minutes, and 5 minutes to get between stations, totalling an hour.