Pax Britannica event on Hadrian’s Wall at Greenhead

Romans return (actually they’re German)

Published on 11/06/2007

News and Star

By Peter Edwards

ROMAN soldiers returned to the Hadrian’s Wall area at the weekend to recreate how people lived 2,000 years ago.

Eight ‘Romans’ from Bonn, in Germany, came to Walltown recreation site, Greenhead, for the Pax Britannica event.

Yesterday families and community groups were invited to see Celtic
tribe warrior displays, demonstrations of Roman army siege weapons and
the domestic life and trades of the time.

The event was organised by Wyrd Arts, an arts charity which specialises in arts in education.

Kevin Wallace, from Wyrd Arts, said: “We were delighted to welcome the
Rhine Romans. They carried out armour drill positions in full uniform,
various formations and weapons training. It was a fantastic sight to
see.

“Walltown recreation site is one of the most breathtaking parts of
Hadrian’s Wall and the Rhine Romans gave an authentic feel to the
experience, demonstrating the cultural diversity of the period.”

Today there is a schools event when children will be able to mix with
Celtic and Roman civilians, soldiers, warriors and tradesman and take
part craft workshops, feltmaking and pottery.

Schools must have booked in advance.

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An idea for your school open day

From the Courier News -with photo of 'Boudica' – dig that red hair!
Living History

B'water-Raritan students make Latin come alive with museum





By KARA L. RICHARDSON

Staff Writer

BRIDGEWATER — Latin came alive Monday at
Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School as students created a museum to
illustrate what they have learned about the ancient language.

“We
have a dead language so the students can't go out and order food in a
restaurant,” said Kim Gray, who teaches Latin in Bridgewater-Raritan
middle and high schools. “There is one way we can communicate to people
in a different way.”

The students
served as the museum's curators, planning displays and giving
presentations (in English) for hundreds of fellow middle-school
students who passed through the exhibits about cultures “linked by the
Latin language,” Gray said. They covered Greece, Britain, Italy and
Egypt — areas invaded by the ancient Romans.

“We
could do a lot more, but we only have so much space,” Gray said,
looking around at display tables pushed against the bookshelves of the
school's library.

The museum even came with security staff.

Casey
Sobel, 14, stopped students from taking handmade coins that were
supposed to be an offering to the Egyptian goddess Isis, who also was
adored by the Romans.

Bridgewater-Raritan
Middle School is one of less than 5 percent of New Jersey middle
schools where Latin is taught, said Mike Yaple, a spokesman for the New
Jersey School Boards Association.

Latin
is taught in 40 percent of New Jersey high schools. In fact, today,
Ridge High School's Latin students will hold a chariot race in the
Basking Ridge section of Bernards. North Hunterdon High School in the
Annandale section of Clinton Township had a similar event last week.

Bridgewater-Raritan
Middle School student Aditya Singh, 14, took Latin to prepare for the
SAT. After three years of studying Latin, it's her favorite class,
helping her in other courses such as language arts and history, she
said.

Singh wore a red wig and
blue dress to represent Boudica, a tribal leader who rebelled against
the 1st century AD Roman invasion in what is now Britain.

Chris
Russo, 14, who played the role of Seutonis Paulinus, a Roman general
who won the battle with Boudica, explained how the Romans' presence in
Britain turned the tide of history.

“We wouldn't have the form of government we have if it wasn't for the idea of the republic,” Russo said.

Jeremy
Weiner, 14, played King Cogidvbnus with a cream-colored shawl over his
shoulders. The king ruled Britain on behalf of the Romans after it was
conquered.

Tara Simpson, 14, had a display of frescoes that her Latin classmates made, trying to paint before the plaster dried.

“It's very hard,” Simpson said about the craft from Roman times.

Gray
said whenever possible, her class linked the past with the future. A
group of students made an exhibit of the Seven Wonders of the ancient
world. A white Styrofoam Hanging Gardens of Babylon display was covered
with faux plants.

Students filled a blue goblet with slips of paper imprinted with www.new7wonders.com, the Web address of an international competition to determine the new seven wonders of the world.

Students
who went through the museum learned to scratch their names using the
Greek alphabet, the basis of the Latin alphabet, on pieces of pottery.
Chips of pottery, Gray said, were comparable to today's scrap paper. In
fact, pottery ballots — called “ostraca” — were used to vote someone
out of office.

“That's where we got the word ostracize. They voted the guy out of town,” Gray said.

The
museum's final exhibit was a display for SAFE, a Jersey City-based
nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving cultural heritage
worldwide. During their daylong exhibit, the students collected $50 in
donations for SAFE, Gray said.

Ryan Le, 14, talked about the importance of preserving the past through efforts including SAFE and the Latin students' museum.

“A
lot of the key information is lost because of the looting that has gone
on over the ages,” Le said. “It helps show people how the world has
evolved.”

Dorchester Roman house project

Learn what the Romans did for Dorch

By Dee Adcock
From the Dorchester Echo

THE historic Roman Town House in Dorchester is getting a cash boost to improve its facilities for visitors.

Dorchester Heritage Joint Committee is giving £4,000 towards costs for interpretation on the site.

John Lowe, who is historical environment manager with Dorset County Council, gave a presentation to committee members detailing the improvements made in the last year and plans in the pipeline.

Afterwards he said the grant was a boost towards the total cost of £107,000 for the full scheme.

But the project would have to be scaled down if full funding could not be found.

He said: “We are putting together a bid for Heritage Lottery Funding and if that's successful the project would have £77,000 to work with.

“Work has already been carried out in the past year or so. The land form around the site now has disabled access with a new path and ramps, and we've put in a rainwater drainage system.”

A stone seat designed by Royal Academy artist John Maine has also been incorporated.

He said AC Archaeology has also completed a report that gives a fuller picture of the history of the house, situated in the grounds of County Hall.

The building developed in four phases and is believed to have had a granary in its upper floor.

Mr Lowe said the committee's grant would go towards interpretation on the site. The scheme would include a website and information panels in the approach and at the site itself to tell visitors about the town house, what it was like to live there and about its archaeology and conservation.

Plans also include marking the infant burial places on the site and installing supplementary lighting to help visitors see the rooms on dark days.

The interpretation and other improvements were part of an overall management plan involving educational use, visitors and conservation.

He said: “It's a very unusual project. We're trying to do it so that people have got free access there.”

Previous studies of how to manage the site included looking at manning the site and having turnstile access – both were rejected by the county council in favour of an open access.

Mr Lowe said: “The site was well excavated in the 1930s so we don't think there's much more there. But there's an awful lot about the Roman town that we don't know. Dorchester doesn't conform to the conventional Roman town in many ways but we won't find out why now because the town centre has been developed.”

A Roman activites and finds day is being held at the town house on July 15.

Claire Pinder, who is a senior archaeologist with the county council, said: “This is the first time we've done this. We're having a re-enactment group dressed as soldiers who will give a marching display and there will be a recreation of the domestic side of Roman life including what it was like to live in the rooms of the Roman town house.”

She said a range of activities was planned for children and adults and she hoped people would come along dressed as Romans.

6:00pm Monday 11th June 2007