Today the Year 3 children (and us helpers) became archaeologists for the day as we explored the landscape of Dolbury Hill Fort. We underwent two “training” exercises initially: the first one involved looking at an old Ordnance Survey map to locate the Fort and other landmarks, such as quarries, on the Killerton estate. Afterwards the children played a game where they sorted pictures of artefacts found by archaeologists into their correct historical periods ranging between the Neolithic to the Modern era. This introduced the children to the types of items archaeologists would expect to find in their excavations.
Following a climb up into the woodland, the children undertook two carousel activities in small groups aimed at exploring the site as an archaeologist. Both activities encouraged the children to wholly engage with their surroundings. In the first activity the children walked around the ramparts of Dolbury Hill Fort using the OS map. One child in the group marked this route on the map to document the ground they had covered. On the walk the children discovered ditches which corresponded to quarry marks on the map, but their most exciting discovery was a circle of post-holes which, as they learned last week, indicated the presence of some kind of Iron Age building.
It was wonderful to hear them speak so enthusiastically and knowledgably as they put the classroom session from last week into practice on the site. The second activity required finding objects with different textures on the ground, sticking them to a record card, and using a colour-match card to show evidence of different colours in the landscape. Through this hands-on exploration of Dolbury Hill Fort, and the practical application of last week’s teaching session, the children are prepared for our final session which will be about responding to the landscape.