Durnovaria to Dorchester!

Wow – what a fantastic day Year 3 have had!

We started off by learning that Dorchester (as we know it) was once in fact a Roman town called, Durnovaria!

Next, half the class began learning about Roman ‘Social Status’ and were lucky enough to try on costumes to learn more about the different lifestyles people would have lived. Some of these included servants, plebeians, soldiers and even emperors!

The other half of the class became archaeologists and were given the task of ‘excavating’ a Roman burial. The children had to carefully dig for artefacts buried with the bodies of 2 different people. The children then used the artefacts they had uncovered to suggest what kind of person they may have been. During the first excavation, they found jewellery, candles made from copper, coins, broaches and even a table leg buried with the body. This helped the children to realise that this person was most likely a wealthy Roman.  Whereas the items buried with the second body, included tools and roof tiles which led the children to believe the person to have been more of a worker with less privileges compared to the other person.  The main similarity they found between the two is that they both had broaches which were used to pin their clothes together.

After that, we made our way upstairs to the museum’s gallery where the children were given items to find, in small groups, to find out more about life as Roman. Some children found farming tools, coloured glass, hair, money and even writing in Latin, carved out of stone.

We were also very lucky to see some of the gigantic mosaic designs uncovered in Dorchester (or Durnovaria!) by real archeologists. One of the mosaics covered an entire wall of the museum! The children also learned that the plait pattern used in most of their mosaic designs is called ‘guilloche’.

After lunch, we made our way to the Roman Townhouse. The children had exclusive access to inside the townhouse, but first they had to wear shoe socks to ensure they kept the mosaic flooring clean and protected once they got inside. The children visited each room in the house including an office, dining room, lounge, bedroom and even a winter lounge! We found out that the winter lounge was a cosy place for the family during the colder months because it had underfloor heating which would have been maintained by one of the family’s servants. We also got to explore the house’s extension which had more underfloor heating and even a room for Worship.

Then it was time to make our journey back to school.

The children were excellently behaved and really made myself and our helpers proud for the thoughtful questions and answers they gave throughout the day.

Well done, Year 3 – I am sure you will sleep well tonight!

A huge thank you to all of our volunteers  – we really appreciate all of your help :).

Miss Hutton



One comment on “Durnovaria to Dorchester!

  1. Deborah Bennett says:

    Thank you to all the teachers and helpers for taking year 3 on this amazing trip. Ronnie had a great time.

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