Did you know that Dunmow St. Mary’s Primary School was built on a 2000 year-old Roman fort? How do we know this?! Well, in 2006, builders who were constructing the Reception and Year 1 corridor dug foundations deep enough to discover evidence of Roman life.
This week, the Year 4s were lucky enough to get their hands on this evidence in a unique Roman experience led by Mrs Griffiths. When the children found out they were standing on the same ground Romans had stood on 2000 years ago, there was a buzz of excitement in the hall. The excitement grew further when the children realised they were going to touch REAL Roman artefacts that were found on our school’s ground.
The children were put to the test to find out which pieces of pottery were Roman and which were not. Their deductive skills were impressive and they found roof tiles, examples of Samian ware, London clay, oyster shells and a piece of quern stone (used for grinding wheat to make flour). These findings told us that Romans ate a lot of oysters (which were easy to come by), they carried their best pottery made from red clay all the way from Italy and they made bread locally.
Mrs Griffiths told us that in 2006, archaeologists visited the school and identified that there was a Roman fort on our school site. They could even tell us where the entrance and burial ground were for the fort. The entrance was on the bottom of the school field and the burial ground was near the Reception play area. The children took part in an imagination activity on the school field to envisage where all of these things used to be.
Following on from our Roman experience, the children are going to spend the next few weeks becoming Roman historians and compiling their very own museums in the classrooms. We look forward to sharing a virtual tour of these with you at the end of our topic!