Artefact Story Trails

Tags: Museum, Mural, story trails

Category: Projects

One of the most exciting new projects we are developing at the classics centre this year involves the design and creation of a number of murals which will explore possible biographies for some of the many Roman artefacts we have on display at the centre. 

Most of the items we have are pieces of much larger objects, and the idea behind these mural trails is to show the story of how some of these items would have been made and used, and eventually broken, and discovered centuries later as fragments. Each trail will consist of three murals which trace these stories; the artefact itself will then appear in small cabinet at the end of the mural trail. The trails will eventually appear all across the school campus, as well as in feeder schools. 

We have been working closely with local archaeologists to identify the artefacts in our collection. You can now find a complete database of our items on our website. The following sketches, created by artist Soham De, are first drafts based on six of the items we have. We will work with experts to ensure that the final murals which appear will be as historically accurate as possible in all details. 

Below you can see details of the first six mural trails - please click the links to view the sketches. We welcome feedback, so please email us with any thoughts on info@irisproject.org.uk

Story trail one: Roman bottle

Scene 1: A Roman worker blows glass near a furnace

Scene 2: A wealthy Roman man pours wine out of the bottle into a cup in a symposium

Scene3: A cat knocks the bottle off a table

 

Story trail two: amphora handle

Scene 1: A Roman worker from Hispania pours olive oil from a large jar into an amphora

Scene 2: A different worker stacks amphorae into a ship in a Mediterranean port

Scene 3: A wealthy Roman lady in Britannia pours oil from a small glass container onto her skin. The amphora can be seen lying against the wall in a storage room in the background.

 

Story trail three: Roman pyxis

Scene 1: A Roman worker turns some clay on a potter's wheel

Scene 2: A Roman lady puts some jewellery into the pyxis

Scene 3: A thief steals the jewellery and smashes the pyxis

Story trail four: roof tile

Scene 1: A Roman worker makes hundreds of roof tiles by pressing wet clay into rectangular moulds

Scene 2: A different Roman worker lays tiles on the roof of a fancy villa as a patrician family watch their home being built

Scene 3: The same villa lies in ruins after many decades of use. Roof tiles are spread on the ground.

 

Story trail five: mosaic tesserae

Scene 1: A Roman worker creates thousands of mosaic tiles in a workshop by chiselling stone

Scene 2: A Roman family welcomes guests into their home. The floor is decorated with a large mosaic.

Scene 3: A group of modern archaeologists excavate the remains of a Roman villa. Fragments of the mosaic can be seen through a sedimentary layer.

 

Story trail six: Roman coin

Scene 1: A Roman worker strikes a coin in a workshop with a big hammer

Scene 2: A Roman man pays a merchant a bunch of coins in a market

Scene 3: A coin falls to the ground through a hole in the merchant's coin pouch