Museum of London Archaeology's Time Truck

Northampton High School girls have been part of a new and exciting community outreach project supported by the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) who brought their 'Time Truck' into school for three days in June. Pupils from three local primary schools joined our Junior School girls to participate in workshops, which included 'Health and Diet' and 'Skeleton Stories'.

A group of Year 7 and Sixth Form students were on hand to help MOLA deliver the workshops and in preparation for this, the girls went to MOLA's Northampton office to explore the practical work that archaeologists and scientists do. MOLA's Mary Ellen Crothers guided the group around the labs at the office with the aid of fellow archaeologists, Jules and Sander.

During the visit, the girls took part in workshops involving practical 'hands on' archaeology. They studied a wide range of artefacts including Bronze Age spearheads, Mesolithic flint used for skinning animals, Civil War musket-balls and Roman coins and jewellery. All these items had been found in the local area during field digs and had been brought to the labs for cleaning and identification.

The girls then had a go at cleaning up pieces of Roman pots, which they were allowed to take home with them as mementos of their experience. Finally, the girls moved on to a fascinating talk about identifying animals from bones and teeth and this was put to the test in a practical identification task at the end.

The following week, we welcomed pupils from Hardingstone Academy, Hackleton Primary School and The Abbey Primary School to the Time Truck where Ashley Almeida, Education Officer and a colleague, introduced them to the world of archaeology. Activities included a mock archaeology dig where the pupils ‘discovered’ ancient artefacts. Their favourite activity was looking at the health and diets of past civilisations through examination and dissection of simulated coprolites (ancient poos!).

Throughout the visit, the staff were assisted by a group of Sixth Formers and Year 7 girls who impressed everybody with their friendly attitudes and their willingness to help, they were a credit to the School.