Young Archaeologists' Club
Central Southern England Branch

Branch Meeting Reports 2003

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Xmas   December 2003 meeting   Xmas
(10.00am to 1.00pm)

Egyptian Tomb Party
Junior Members & Senior Members
The Christmas party this year had an Egyptian theme to compliment earlier sessions during the year and all the entries for the fancy dress competition were outstanding - the "winners" were sisters Edith MacLean (Seniors) and Hazel MacLean (Juniors) and each received a prize of a £5.00 book token. Games held during the "Tomb Party" included such out-landish delights as "Musical Sarcophogi", "Pass the Heart" and "Rob the Tomb" and all of those members who participated showed great enthusiasm and energy. However, the highlight of the morning was probably the "Great Pyramid Cake" which, when opened and eaten, revealed a burial chamber complete with a mummy of Father Christmas!
During the party the winner of The John Jillings Bursary was announced by the Chairman of the judging panel and former Branch Leader - Daphne Tarbox. There was a single competition prize awarded for 2003, being a cheque for £50 presented to Thomas Hine for his winning entry (This can be seen on the wall of the AV room at the Archaeology Centre).

November 2003 Meeting
The June to November meetings had a Roman theme

The theme for this session was "Investigating Roman Coins" and the meeting began with a lively debate covering issues including the types / values of Roman money, the designs found upon these coins and the propaganda / politics behind the designs.  There was a chance for members to hold and examine genuine copper, silver and gold pieces minted under the reigns of different Roman rulers.  Junior members then had an opportunity to pretend they too were emperors and design their own coinage with novel and interesting results.  Meanwhile the Senior members tried their hands at identifying the age or period of coins guided only by the iconography and writing found on them.

October 2003 Meeting
(9.00am to 6.00pm)

"Roman London Experience"

A Coach Visit to London and the Roman exhibts at The LAARC*,
Museum of London and the Guildhall Amphitheatre
(*London Archaeological Archive and Resource Centre)

Our Guide at the LAARC
was Venassa Bunton, MoL Community Archaeologist
For the Museum of London and Amphitheatre visit
was Jenny Hall, MoL Roman Curator

An expectant group of happy YAC members, parent adult guests, junior guests and a few Trust members boarded the coach for the initial journey to the LAARC (London Archaeological Archive & Resource Centre), which is at Mortimer Wheeler House in North London. Alan, unfortunately, was not able to be with the party at this point, joining later at the MoL. Upon arrival at the LAARC the party was met and welcomed by Venassa Bunton , MoL Community Archaeologist. The party was then divided into three groups each of which ,on a rotational basis, had a tour of the building, participated in material handling, and had a packaging session where the correct methods for long-term storage were explained. A mid-morning break for refreshments was taken and these were personally arranged by Venassa. The morning quickly sped by and it was all to soon time to bid farewell to Vanessa and her volunteers and board the coach again for the short journey down to Central London and the MoL museum site at London Wall.
Upon arrival the party was met by Jenny Hall, MoL Roman curator, who escorted the group to the special "group facility" area at the museum which would be the base for the afternoon's activities. Here a break for lunch was taken. Those who brought a picnic lunch were able to relax and use the facilities, others made use of the nearby MoL cafe, where the purchase of hot food and extra picnic purchases were made. There was also an initial opportunity made to browse the MoL bookshop!
The afternoon activities required the party to be divided into two groups. One group escorted by Jenny Hall, visited the Guildhall Amphitheatre while the other stayed at the Museum Galleries, under the guidance of Alan or Phil assisted by Jill, and participated in a worksheet activity as well as having an opportunity to view the museum generally. At the mid-afternoon refreshment break, the two groups were reversed.
A "surprise" highlight of the afternoon (provided by special permission granted by Jenny Hall) was that each group when visiting the amphitheatre were also taken to see and operate the reconstructed "Hadrian's Well" which was still on-site and just outside of the Museum's main entrance! It was interesting to see who took part and who did not when offered the opportunity to be "Roman slaves" at the capstan, in order to operate the device! The construction of this device was featured in a Time Team documentary programme shown earlier in the year as a Special in the 2003 Series. Fragments of an original device, the basis of the reconstruction, was initially found close by and The dig was featured in a Special programme Londinium, Edge of Empire shown in the 2002 Series and repeated in 2003 to accompany the "Hadrian's Well" documentary.
All to soon it was time for each group to complete their tasks, have a last visit to the book shop and gather back in the "group facility" area to say our thanks and farewells to Jenny and all at the MoL for a very enjoyable day. The expression of appreciation received on the coach journey back did make all the effort put in by the various providers seem so worth while!

September 2003 Meeting

Our guest presenter for Roman Cookery was Dr Martin Henig of Oxford University, who inspired members with descriptions of Roman menus and illustrated his presentation with slides of feasts, pottery, and cutlery used at the time. Unfortunately Tamasin's and Dr Henig's arrival from Oxford was delayed and this gave the opportunity to start the meeting with a general review of Branch activities, the lack of participants for the Week's Course, and an introduction to next month's "Roman London Experience".
With the temptation of producing Roman food and cooking on disposable Bar-B-Q's, it was thought that the usual mid-morning break routine would not be required. How wrong can we be! While the majority engaged themselves in food production under the guidance of Tamasin and Dr Henig, Alan catered for the needs of the other members. Temptation was also too great for the Senior members who requested the opportunity to participate and not follow the planned separate programme!
The excellent weather and out-door cooking made for the production of very exciting and edible varieties of Roman style food & drink. The opportunity to sample the results and the speed at which everything disappeared was the mark of success!

Weeks Course
18-22 August 2003

"Due to insufficient applicants"

"Archaeology Experience"
A week's non-residential course

Learn the principles and techniques at the Archaeology Centre

Experience excavation and post-excavation activities!
The course includes day visits to an Archaeology Unit in Southampton and the NMRC at Swindon

(Concessions: YAC members £65; YAC CSEB members £60)

Registration and Booking Form
Download Form in: (Word format)
Tip: Right Click and Click on "Save Target/Link As" to Save File

The minimum 20 participants required was not reached
All applicants have been individually informed and any fees paid refunded

Consideration is being given to offering the course again in 2004. If you want this to happen then please register your interest now. Pre-registration will enable us to gauge the demand and if there is sufficient interest include the course in the 2004 programme.

Additional Meeting 19 July 2003

This was an Open meeting for National Archaeology Days to complete projects or do research. It was good to see a number of New Junior visitors who participated in model projects with the members. Good use was made of the Archaeology Centre library, by the Senior members, for competition research. After the mid-morning break the remaining part of the "Asterix" video was shown (see June report).

June 2003 Meeting
The June to November meetings have a Roman theme

Junior members discussed the Roman Army, how it was structured, and examples were given of the uniforms worn. The Senior members discussed and examined through documentary evidence, Britain under the Roman Military Dictatorship. After the mid-morning break an "Asterix" video was shown which depicted Roman life in that unique way!
Junior member projects intend to be completed this meeting were delayed until the additional July Meeting.

May 2003 Meeting
(9.00am to 6.00pm)
"Iron Age experience"
Coach visit to Danebury Hillfort, Andover Museum & Museum of the Iron Age

An excellent day despite the weather! The showers at Danebury did mean the picnic lunch had to be taken back in Andover Museum! This did not dampen the interest in the tour of the Hillfort following an absorbing presentation by our guide and day presenter Chris Elmer (Museum education officer and North Hampshire YAC Branch) at Andover Museum, prior to the tour. In the afternoon a practical exercise in the Museum of the Iron Age was followed by a Q & A round-up session on the day. Our many thanks go to Chris and the staff at Andover Museums who made us so welcome on the day. Also a special thanks goes to David Allen (Museums Curator and North Hampshire YAC Branch) who, although unable to be with us, greatly assisted in the pre-planning of the day and the excellent hospitality provided. This was an event obviously enjoyed by everyone which was reflected by the many positive comments subsequently received.

April 2003 Meeting

Junior members engaged in a discussion about Celtic Bog Bodies leading to an initial examination of the various types of bodies found, their preservation, location and possible causes of death. Senior members were involved with the Druid Prince investigation by way of documentary and audio-visual resources.

March 2003 Meeting

Junior members continued the Greek theme from last month with an initial discussion about the various gods and places of worship. The importance of the "Athenian Parthenon" was discussed - leading to a model project, working in pairs. It is hoped to complete the models next month. Senior members explored "How did the Celts come to Britain" by way of a video presentation, documentary evidence and by discussion.
During the mid-morning break an opportunity was made available to view missed-parts of the BBC "Pyramid" programme (see January report).

February 2003 Meeting

Junior members explored the various "Greek Myths & Legends" by the use of role-play to examine the various characters. The Senior members explored "Ancient Myths & Legends" through the use and examination of documentary evidence.

January 2003 Meeting

Due to Tamasin not being able to be with us, a slight change to the programme was made. Alan lead a combined meeting until the mid morning break, continuing the Junior members Egyptian theme and utilising extracts from the BBC "Pyramid" programme. There was clearly a powerful message here and this provoked a deep and thoughtful discussion on ways of life, morals, beliefs and rituals.
After the mid-morning break the meeting separated. Alan assisted by Jill, giving the Junior members the option of completing their individual Egyptian House project (started at the September and November 2002 meetings) and/or creating designs for a Tomb! Imagination ran riot in Tomb design with devices to stop intruders and robbers! The Senior members had a presentation by Phil on burial rituals and beliefs up to modern day.

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