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Classroom activities help
Hi all,

I've been asked to talk to some construction students at a local College about the roles of archaeologists and regulations on development sites with regards to listed buildings.

How can I make this information fun, but still informative?

The age range is 16-19 years. I have met some of the students before, and they haven't had any contact with the subject so it's a great opportunity to get some young people on board and interested in archaeology.

Any activity ideas would be great.

Asking them what they think would constitute a 'heritage asset' might get them thinking - its certainly been challenging minds here! e.g. if a garden wall has traditionally been used for 70 years+ as the backdrop for institutional group photos (which have incidentally provided a marvellous photographic archive for the wall!), has it therefore in consequence developed a heritage value? It would also give them an insight into the more subjective aspects of the legislation, like the 'artistic' value', group value, rarity value, local/regional (so how big's the region?)/national importance, how long is a piece of string etc etc

[oh, the wall used as an example above is Listed Grade II anyway, but it might come up again]
I have a lecture (which occasionally still gets aired) where I show photographs of 4 traditional looking English churches (all high Victorian style buildings). I ask the audience what they think the buildings are and what function they perform....The twist is that none are exactly what they look like or function as they were originally designed. One is now a heritage centre, one is actually a synagogue although it was deliberately designed to resemble a CoE church, one is a former hospital chapel although the hospital is long gone and the last is a actually a functioning church although it was designed as a garrison chapel for a former military base now developed as a housing estate. I explain the diificulties of interpreting buildings and function when you have standing walls and rooves and then show a series of slides of merely foundations and ruined abbeys etc and try and explain the added difficulties archaeologists have, let alone standing building recorders, and explain about the techniques and sources we use etc etc. Something similar might work for your class...
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
I like the posts above.. I very much like the twist in teh church tail.

For me you could have a team 'game' where you must place buildings into a demolish - preserve pile.

and then discuss why. ( and if they were right)
One very important point should be inserted wherever it can be in the 'out-side world.'

Archaeological deposits contain data that is important to other scientific fields. Its not just for interesting anecdotes or coffee-table books. Its not a luxury that stands in the way of the ideals of progress.

From palaeoenvironmental data used to model past climate change and hence understand future problems.

To pathological information from ancient burials that can be used to map long time-depth changes in disease and hence indicate possible causes and cures.

Not to mention all the social-science stuff about populations, societies, ethnic tensions etc etc etc.

The data for these studies don't come from some academics head, or from a dusty old book. It comes from the recording, excavation and most importantly the post-excavation analysis and archiving for future research of the remains that get destroyed through construction, farming, de-watering etc. etc. etc.
BAJR Wrote:For me you could have a team 'game' where you must place buildings into a demolish - preserve pile.

and then discuss why. ( and if they were right)

You'd need to tell us what we could then dig under them once they're down, and whether the demo would be part of the archaeo contract, speaking as a non-standing buildings person/vandal }Smile
Thanks everyone for some fantastic ideas. I'll let you all know how it goes.

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