On Tuesday 8th November, we were very privileged to welcome Professor Mark Robinson from the Natural History Museum in Oxford, who spoke to our Year Nine Classical Civilisation groups about his excavation work in Pompeii.
He gave a very engaging overview of the history of Pompeii, exploring the process of the eruption, and passing round some pumice he had collected from his recent excavation work. He explored the complex history of the city and interesting aspects of its layout, such as stepping stone crossings on roads, and street fountains. He also talked about some of the Houses, where there is evidence that there were painters creating a mural at the time of the eruption who left in a rush to escape and splattered plaster on the walls!
He focused, finally, on the House of the Gladiators, where he has been doing much of his recent excavation work. He explored the evidence for whether the house had been inhabited by gladiators, including graffiti and various archaeological finds. The group were impressed by a piece of an ancient theatre mask which had been found; other items included a woman's brooch, and pots which trees had been planted in. The unusual design of the House was explored, and theories about whether it might originally have been a temple were discussed.
It was a really fascinating talk which gave both a very accessible overview of Pompeii as well as a very interesting focus on less well-known details of excavation work. We are very grateful to Professor Robinson for finding the time to visit us.
Year Nine students have also been working on Pompeii-themed monopoly games as part of a group challenge. They have been spending homework and lunch times working on the board, cards, and other game accessories, and have produced some stunning games, which you can see by popping by the classics centre!