Seaton pupils take a closer look at Roman hoard

Two Seaton pupils study some of the Roman coins. Picture MATT AUSTIN

Two Seaton pupils study some of the Roman coins. Picture MATT AUSTIN - Credit: Archant

Sixty Seaton Primary School pupils learnt about the Romans at a workshop inspired by the recent discovery of the ‘Seaton Down Hoard’, consisting of 22,888 Roman coins.

The morning session was conducted by Lizzie Mee, from the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM), in Exeter and held at Colyton Grammar School, where the sixth formers helped with the activities.

The morning began with Lizzie explaining how Laurence Edgerton had chanced upon the hoard with his metal detector.

Then a Roman soldier introduced himself in Latin, painting an initial picture of the Roman era for the children.

The next activity involved the children learning about how Devon had changed since the Roman era. They began with a discussion, followed by a hands-on comparative examination of Roman household products with contemporary equivalents.

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Another workshop allowed the students to recreate Mr Edgerton’s find in a sand box excavation. Using trowels and mini metal detectors, pupils learned how the discovery of historical objects can be rare and that not all items can be found with the detector alone.

This activity was especially exciting as most of the objects were contemporary Roman fragments. Even some genuine Roman coins could be found hidden in the sand!

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The final workshop - coin forging - was a favourite. Using tin pieces and a forging block, each student had the opportunity to strike a hammer to mould their own coin. An activity running alongside this was the ‘hoard viewing’. A small selection of the hoard was displayed, where the pupils could talk with the expert about the significance and history behind some of the coins.

The morning proved to be highly compelling, both for the primary school students and the teachers.

The interactive experience that Lizzie and her team provided meant that the pupils could fully immerse themselves in The Romans.

Colyton’s history teacher Chris Harris said: “This was a fantastic hands-on experience in which both Seaton’s primary students and Colyton’s sixth formers clearly enjoyed working in partnership.”

The Seaton Down Hoard is currently on a nine-month ‘schools roadshow’ tour of the county, which will culminate in an exhibition at RAMM in July 2017, featuring the entire hoard.

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