Chester’s Roman amphitheatre

Engaging with kids, and tea with the vicar!

Well, I’ve finally had chance to breathe after a hectic morning…

I run a small company (Archaeology for Schools Ltd) which essentially teaches children from Key Stages 2 onwards, the basic principles of archaeology in a fun and engaging way. We usually tap into their current history topic, and so we jump between Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Egyptian archaeology. As well as this, I am currently exploring a number of different ways of getting young people more interested and involved in their local heritage, as well as writing a few academic pieces!

This morning was an 8am start in Chester, getting some photographs for a new project I am involved in (top secret!) followed by a meeting with the Vicar of St. Johns, Chester who incidentally has a degree in Egyptology and has dug a number of Ramesside period sites in Egypt (not your normal man of the cloth!). Our meeting was loosely about helping St Johns to engage with more schools. It’s one of the most stunning and unusual churches in the UK, but seems to get easily overshadowed as it sits beside Chester’s Roman amphitheatre. The real bee I have in my bonnet at present, is that the public’s perception of archaeology is all about excavation, which is widely inaccessible to most. Fieldwalking, landscape archaeology, records offices, maps and old buildings have as much to reveal about the past as excavation, and are all widely available and largely free. I’m amazed by how many people I know who purport to be interested in history or archaeology,  but have not took the time to walk around their local parish church…..rant over!!

School holidays are with us now, so I am using the time to do some of my own landscape fieldwork, having got hold of some nice LIDAR data-sets to play with. I’m also spending an hour today writing a proposal and a quote for a potential new customer.