Children from across the region have been time travelling, from ancient Pompeii to medieval Lincoln and back again, thanks to a unique summer camp experience.

The Archaeology Summer School, run by Bishop Grosseteste University, gave 24 budding historians, aged between seven and 12, the chance to get hands-on with both traditional and cutting-edge archaeology techniques, in a fun and creative environment.

“The week was open to all children on a first-come-first-serve basis and has proven very popular; we had a really long waiting list,” explained Zoe Tomlinson, Community Archaeologist at BGU and organiser of the camp.

“The children really enjoy it and a lot have come back for a second year with their friends and siblings.”

Hosted at the Old School House on the university’s campus, and staffed by BGU heritage students, the week-long programme included the reconstruction of a Pompeian room, complete with life-size Pompeians made out of chicken wire and papier-mâché.

The activities all had a creative theme and included large-scale paintings, pottery and even facial reconstruction using plastic skulls and clay – similar to the recent techniques used to recreate the face of King Richard III.

The children also went on two field trips, one to a real dig in Navenby and another to Lincoln Cathedral, to record medieval graffiti.

Iona Goodman, aged nine, said “We’ve been doing facial reconstruction using plastic Halloween skulls and making mosaics. I really liked the Pompeii room – I think that was a really nice idea because it involved everybody. We also went to the Cathedral to look at ancient graffiti which was really good.”

The annual Archaeology Summer School has been set up as part of the university’s ongoing commitment to education and heritage. The atmosphere is that of a fun summer holiday break, and the children are constantly discovering new facts and information.

“We do a lot of art based on the theme of archaeology, to really fire the children’s imaginations,” said Zoe.

“We don’t want this to feel like another school environment during the holidays as it’s important they have fun, but we do want it to be as educational as possible. The kids don’t know each other but they form really strong friendships as they all share an interest in history.”

Press release: 20 August 2013

20th August 2013