Picking over the bones of a Roman archeological mystery

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Students got to the bones of their subject as they unearthed ancient remains and saw the most high-tech ways to study archeology on a college trip.

The A Level classical civilisation students, from Blackpool Sixth Form College, visited a top archeology company and then had a lesson from a 
Roman re-enactor.

The teenagers were visited by a historian from Lancashire County Council’s museum service, professional Roman re-enactor Marcus Aurelis Nepos, during their last week of term.

Students were given an informative talk about the local history of Roman rule and were put through their paces by the Roman re-enactor when they role-played new recruits to the Roman Army.

Hannah-Jane Norton, 16, from Cleveleys, said: “The lesson was fantastic, it put you in the picture of what it was like to be part of the Roman Army.”

And the students travelled to the Lancaster offices of Oxford Archaeology North, one of the country’s leading commercial archaeology companies.

They were given a taster in how cutting-edge archaeologists work, including the 
use of drones to create 3D models and how to carbon date organic material.

The group also got to view the skeleton of a 12th century bishop or abbot unearthed during restoration work at Furness Abbey.

The students were interested in the fact that the clergyman must have eaten a rich diet – his waist-line is speculated to have been 60 inches. Students also got a glimpse further back in time by examining some 10,000 year old antlers.

First year student Skye Demar, 17, from Hambleton, said: “It was really interesting seeing how the archaeologists investigate the past and I really enjoyed seeing the artefacts they had found, especially the skeleton.

“It was excellent to see the range of archaeology, from aerial drones to osteo-archaeological analysis.”

The visits were organised by classical civilisation tutor Peter Wright, who The Gazette reported last week has been shortlisted for two top further education teaching awards.