As a launch for their Prehistory topic, children in Year 3 and 4 have just finished a week long archaeological dig on the school grounds. The children had the chance to try out a number of archaeological techniques, including excavation, site recording, finds washing and identification. By the end of the week, they created a temporary museum in their classrooms to showcase the things they had found.
The excavation turned up a number of finds which attest to the presence of children at the school over the last 100 years. These include a number of fountain pen nibs, some marbles, pencil lead and charcoal pencils. They also uncovered a 1939 half-penny coin and a piece of an early 20thCentury brooch containing blue glass stones. The dating of these artefacts would suggest layers that are between 70 and 100 years old, and come from the earliest years of the school, which was founded in 1898. Most finds were recovered from a very burnt layer, which we think indicates the presence of a bonfire site being regularly used during this period.
As well as the excavation, David McOmish from English Heritage came in to answer questions about his archaeological career and we had visits from Fiona Charlesworth, of St Albans Museum and Simon West, the District Archaeologist for St Albans who helped with the dig and also answered questions. A selection of prehistoric finds including several ½ million year old handaxes were borrowed from the museum and allowed the children, and their parents, the opportunity to handle some truly special artefacts.
A great week was had by all.