Festival of Lost Cities

Tags: Festival, Archaeology, classics, Gladiators, Bettany Hughes

On Monday 18th January hundreds of Cheney students and visitors were transported back in time to visit six different ancient cities spread across the school site! Everyone taking part was issued with an ancient passport and a guide, and using these, they travelled to the cities of Knossos, Alexandria, Athens, Rome, Troy and Delphi (where they were able to consult the oracle about their future). As well as this, East Oxford Primary School ran their very own lost city of Baghdad in the Library.

Each city included stalls and activities, as well as exhibitions created by Cheney students, and visitors could get their passports stamped in each place. In Rome, there was a theatre where visitors could watch gladiators fighting, as well as dance performances from Avid for Ovid and theatre performances by Unmythable. Activities ranged from being able to watch and have a go at sundial carving, labyrinth building and making miniature Trojan horses, to ancient Olympics, underwater archaeology and Minoan Fresco painting. There was something for every age and every level of knowledge.

Alongside all this we had four well-known expert speakers delivering talks in the Assembly Hall: Michael Scott on Rome, Natalie Haynes on Thebes, Martha Kearney on beekeeping, and Bettany Hughes rounded up the whole event with an exciting Q&A with Mr Gimson on The Greatest Cities on Earth.

As well as many Cheney students and staff, we had hundreds of visitors of all ages, many local, and some school groups travelling from as far as Kent, London and Dorset to take part.

It was a really exciting and successful festival, and we are hugely grateful to all Cheney staff and students who helped and welcomed, and the sixty or so volunteer stall-runners and performers, as well as our brilliant speakers.