The artefacts project has kicked off at the classics centre this November with two very informative workshops for classics enrichment students. These were delivered by project leader and archaeologist Aaron Alzola. The first session saw Aaron introducing students to the beautiful red and black figure pottery of ancient Athens, and using an exploration of the flourishing of trade that accompanied this pottery to introduce aspects such as dating and categorising artefacts. Students were curious to find out that artefacts which looked less "finished" were actually newer than the more highly decorative and well-finished pottery. This was due to the demand causing mass production of more clumsily produced items.In their second session with Aaron, they were given a detailed overview of the process of categorising an artefact, and were then given the opportunity to have a go at this themselves. The centre is home to a large collection of original artefacts, some of which were found in Oxford itself. Over the next few months, with Aaron's help, we will be creating a database of all the artefacts the centre owns, as well as running workshops for Cheney students and visitors to find out more about this fascinating collection.
Students will then have the opportunity to become 'curators' of the centre's collection, helping categorise new items which come in, and running handling workshops for other students and visitors.