News

Anglo-Saxon Grave Workshop for Schools

  • 24th February 2015

One of the activities we do with school children is the Anglo-Saxon skeleton, usually as part of ‘Invaders & Settlers’ aspect of the national curriculum. Our archaeologists base the workshop on the discovery of an Anglo-Saxon burial, and what this can tell us about Saxon life. We have a replica skeleton along with grave goods, based on local examples, which children can handle. 

Uncovering a skeleton leads to all sorts of question for archaeologists, and the information the items give can lead to a very different picture of The Dark Ages, so it is great way for children to think about the process of discovering and analysing the evidence of the past. Questions include:

  • Is it a male or female? Which bones do archaeologists look at for signs of whether skeleton is of a male of female? What can the goods and skeleton tell us? (we have example artefacts from the other gender too so we cover both!)
  • What has survived and was has rotted away, such as wood and food?
  • What do the grave goods indicate about how the person lived, and about their religious beliefs? Where do the goods come from, how far have they travelled?
  • What can we tell about their thoughts about the afterlife?
  • Are there similarities with today?
  • Male grave goods

    The objects we have are based in many cases from examples discovered by our archaeologists at sites in Worcestershire, so provides a local link to the subject. We’ll also include details of some of the other excavations in the county which have yielded clues to life in that period, including clothes and buildings.

    Saucer brooch found near Evesham

    If you are interested in coming to The Hive for one of these sessions, or in us coming out to your school, please email explorethepast@worcestershire.gov.uk or phone 01905 766352.

    Anglo Saxon cremation urn

    One response to “Anglo-Saxon Grave Workshop for Schools”

    1. Roger Leake says:

      In the 1990s I invited Malcolm Atkin to visit school to do this activity with the children in my class (8 – 10yrs old). Great stuff!!! Long may it continue.

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