We are delighted to update on the progress of this project which began November involving the East Oxford Community Classics Centre's extensive collection of original Roman artefacts. The Centre is privileged to own a wide range of items, ranging from mesolithic tools (dating 8000 - 4000 BC), a large number of Roman glass and pottery fragments, tesserae (mosaic pieces), roof tiles and a catapult shot - these have been donated to us by museums, individuals and universities. In the next few months archaeologist Dr Aarón Alzola will be working with us to create a comprehensive digital database of these items, which we will host online, so visitors, students and many others can view the items and understand more about them.
A group of Cheney School students has been involved in the process of categorising the items and entering them into the database. We will train a group of students very year in the artefacts collection database and handling - these students will then become "student curators" for the collection during their time at the school.
We are also creating artefact story trails, which will appear in various parts of the school - consisting of murals showing how the artefacts were made, how they were used and how they were discovered, and featuring the artefacts themselves. These trails will be a way of immersing visitors and students in the history of these fascinating items in a visually stunning way.
Alongside this, Aarón will be developing workshops involving the artefacts which will be embedded into the "What Is History" module studied by all year 7s at Cheney School. These workshops will also be delivered to students and other visitors from the wider community. Through his work at the centre, we aim to make the artefacts collection a vital, accessible and exciting aspect of the centre that Cheney School students and the community at large will learn about and benefit from.
As a culmination of the database and workshops project, we will run two Roman Oxford Days on 2nd and 3rd July 2015 where students and visitors will be able to handle the artefacts and experience workshops.