Record for 2010

Students discussing the features of <br>the Mercian roundshaft

Students discussing the features of
the Mercian roundshaft

 

This is a record of events that have taken place during the year. Future events can be found on the events page.

The accounts are a useful source of information for people who would like to know about our activities before they attend a particular event.

They have also proved to be particularly useful to university candidates, writing their personal statements, by providing a reference for an interest, beyond the limits of the curriculum, in their chosen subjects.

Contents

  2010

  Friday, 23rd July   Holmes Chapel Comprehensive Summer School  
  Saturday, 3rd July   Visit by Goostrey Scouts  
  Tuesday, 22nd June   The Blackden Trust at Goostrey Community Primary school  
  Monday, 12th April   Pilgrimage, Potions and Protection - for Manchester Grammar School  
  Monday, 15th March   Science week  


Detail

2010

Holmes Chapel Comprehensive Summer School visit to The Blackden Trust
Discovering the Past

Tutors: Griselda Garner, Graham Massey
Volunteers: Joyce Evers, Charlie Reeks
Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School Staff: Eddie Fu, Roxy Riding

Dating pottery sherds

Dating pottery sherds

Year 7 students from Holmes Chapel Comprehensive Summer School came to Blackden for a morning of activities to stimulate curiosity and develop logical reasoning.

Using a set of riddles as clues, they found and walked a labyrinth that led them to a well; found ancient artefacts; and discovered plants that were associated with protection from evil spirits.

The students were presented with objects from the past that they were encouraged to identify. Then they washed pottery sherds found on the site, which they sorted and dated, using a type series database. All these activities gave the students a practical experience of the information that can be deduced from the objects people leave behind. .

'I liked working out the riddles and looking around for the clues. It was good.'

'I enjoyed the experience of working with old artefacts. I got really stuck in and was in awe of what has been found.'

'I enjoyed learning about all the different pottery and objects. I also enjoyed working out the riddles.'  'I learnt how to find out how old a piece of pottery is.'

'I liked the pot washing and the discussions about the date. It was overall fantastic.'

Looking for clues in the labyrinth

Looking for clues in the labyrinth

Working out a riddle

Working out a riddle

Discussing

Discussing

Pot washing

Pot washing

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Goostrey Scouts

Tutors: Graham Massey, Dawn Parry

Pot washing

Pot washing

The Scouts arrived on bikes having cycled from their overnight camp three miles away.  Revived by drinks and biscuits they set about discovering the objects described in a set of riddles.

They were then presented by sherds of dirty pottery that had been found in the garden and surrounding fields and shown how to wash and date it.

The puzzles continued with a session identifying objects, many of which would have been used here at Blacken.

The scout leaders found the visit, 'Well presented and friendly.  I liked that all things were practical and involved the children.'  'A wonderful trip back in time, beautiful surroundings, lovely, interesting hosts and very informative.'

And the scouts said, 'I really enjoyed today.  It was very interesting, especially as I am interested in history.'  'I liked the pot cleaning and dating.'  'Really fun and you get to know about lots of pottery and old fashioned stuff.'  'I liked the pot washing.'  'I enjoyed solving the riddles.'  'I liked pot washing.'  'I liked seeing the artefacts found nearby.'  'Pot wash was good.'

Puzzling over a riddle

Puzzling over a riddle

Considering clues in riddles

Considering clues in riddles

Getting answers to riddles

Getting answers to riddles

Puzzling over a mystery object

Puzzling over a mystery object

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The Blackden Trust at Goostrey Community Primary school

Tutor: Tom Hughes

Timeline of hats and pots

Timeline of hats and pots

Year 6 students at Goostrey Community Primary School were introduced to some techniques of archaeology, during a course run by The Blackden Trust.

In order to encourage a sense of chronology, the students created a living timeline by placing date cards ranging from 2,000 BC to 2,000 AD in the correct order. Under the guidance of Tom Hughes and using the knowledge they had of some historical periods, students donned hats and worked out into which historical period they should they should place themselves. Tom outlined the historical development of drinking vessels and students then assessed the correct period of replica vessels and placed them in the appropriate place on the timeline.

After a break, the students re-enacted a Saxon burial, by placing replica grave goods, relevant to a warrior and farmer, around him. Invoking the atmosphere of an early Saxon funeral, Tom told the story of Saint Werburgh and challenged the students with some Saxon riddles. A student blew a horn to end the ceremony.

The students were then encouraged to think as archaeologists and identify which parts of the deposited goods would decay. These were removed leaving artefacts that would be found in a Saxon grave. The students considered how we have been able to reconstruct those parts that had decayed, and what we might be able to deduce from the grave itself. The confidence with which the students engaged in this exercise was a testament to the skills that they had developed during the morning.

In the afternoon the students gathered in groups, first to solve riddles and then to write riddles about a Saxon object. Their concentration during these activities was most commendable, as was the standard of their work, which can be seen on the Outcomes page.

This event was sponsored by The Friends of The Blackden Trust.

Placing the only parts of the Saxon warrior to survive into the burial

Placing the only parts of the Saxon warrior to survive into the burial

The murdered goose brought back to life by Saint Werburg celebrates

The murdered goose brought back to life by Saint Werburg celebrates

Writing riddles

Writing riddles

Solving riddles

Solving riddles

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Pilgrimage, Potions and Protection

Tutors: Professor Mark Edmonds, Dr Melanie Giles,
Tom Hughes, Sue Hughes, Colin Mann, Graham Massey

Tudor herbs in a Tudor house

Tudor herbs in a Tudor house

During April and May boys from all the Year 8 forms at Manchester Grammar School spent a day at The Blackden Trust looking at evidence of past lives in the landscape, in the houses and in artefacts found in the area.

The boys walked the mile along the farm track from the Red Lion Inn, in Goostrey, to The Blacken Trust, looking for evidence of man' s occupation of the land. They examined artefacts found on the site and in the surrounding fields; studied sherds of pottery to discover what the complete pot might have been; and by handling unfamiliar objects they worked out what the objects were and how they might have been used.

Inside the Old Medicine House, the boys were introduced to some of the medical theories of the sixteenth century and the importance of herbs and spices in all aspects of life at the time; in cooking, in dyes, and for strewing to deter insects and sweeten the smell of the house, as well as in medicine. They found some of the treatments gruesome, especially those used on battle wounds. Finally, the boys chose herbs and spices to make their own individually scented tussie mussies to take home.

Today was great. I especially like handling the objects: the spices and herbs and the mystery objects. I also enjoyed analysing the ceramics.

Handling a 5 000 year- old polished stone axe

Handling a 5 000 year- old polished stone axe

I enjoyed making muslin and smelling herbs and the houses because it wasn' t just observing, but it was practical work as well. I also liked looking at the remains of various objects because of the aspect of mystery and the infinite amount of logical outcomes. I LOVED IT!

I enjoyed the fact that we had to think and had to make our own minds up about things instead of being told. School is a lot different.

I find it fascinating that so many periods of history are based exactly on the spot I am sitting.

I thought that looking at old stuff was good because we had a chance to actually think about and come up with ideas of what it is, as opposed to having it dictated to us in a classroom !!!

I found the medicines and the methods used to cure different illnesses and injuries fascinating compared to modern methods.

It was fascinating learning about all the different types of medicine used in the Tudor period. I thoroughly enjoyed making the herb pouch.

The artefacts were great fun. I enjoyed the herbs and making the herb bags and smelling the different herbs and spices.

I enjoyed my visit at Blackden Trust and liked the fact we had to think about the objects.

Puzzling over a pot

Puzzling over a pot

Wondering about a wheel

Wondering about a wheel

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Science meets Archaeology

Tutor: Professor Sue Kilcoyne
Laboratory technician: Jay Smith

Setting up the resistivity experiment

Setting up the resistivity experiment

As part of National Science and Engineering Week 2010, Sue Kilcoyne and Jay Smith from the School of Computing, Science and Engineering joined forces with Griselda Garner and Graham Massey from The Blackden Trust to show pupils from Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School how advanced scientific techniques now play an extremely important part in all aspects of archaeological investigation; from the initial geophysical surveys of potential sites to the sophisticated and often complicated analysis of the artefacts discovered during the excavations.

The presentation started with an introduction to the scientific techniques that are now an integral part of archaeological investigation.  Sue described how resistivity, magnetometry and metal detecting can help archaeologists piece together and understand the fragmentary evidence history has left to be deciphered.  She outlined the strengths and weaknesses of the different techniques and discussed the need to combine the results of several techniques in order to obtain the best description of a site.

The students then had a chance to put what they had learnt into practice.  They were provided with mini archaeological sites (sand in plastic troughs) in which objects with varying resistivity were buried.  First they surveyed their site, using mini resistivity probes.  Jay and Graham showed the students how to use the equipment and how to log the results into a program to convert the data into a diagram, which would indicate where the objects were buried. The students then used their results to carry out an excavation to find the buried objects.

The session finished with a presentation from Sue describing the novel and exciting techniques using neutron beams to probe deeply within objects, revealing the detail of their structure and providing unique information on their origin, composition, manufacture, use, and even their authenticity.  Sue also discussed how future scientific developments will expand the essential role that science now plays in the finding and interpretation of archaeology.

The day was a great success.  Three of the pupils asked to be included in the training excavation at The Blackden Trust in August and several other pupils also said that it would make them think more positively about continuing with a science course after GCSE.

For more information about Science and Archaeology please contact Sue at: s.h.kilcoyne@salford.ac.uk

Surveying and recording readings

Surveying and recording readings

Using resistivity data to guide excavation

Using resistivity data to guide excavation

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Printed on: 16 Oct 2019

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