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Year 7 Classics trip to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford


Last Friday, the Year 7 boys travelled to Oxford to visit the Ashmolean Museum to explore aspects of ancient Roman and Greek culture.

In this vast and wonderful museum we focussed on a selection of rooms displaying Roman coins, Roman funeral stones, statues and a large array of Roman artefacts.

Boys noticed what can be learnt from coins, and played games with some replicas. They observed statues and drew inspired pictures, they handled Roman exhibits under the guidance of the Museum’s Education Officer, and discussed their possible uses as well as the fate of their owners.

The boys even had a go at re-enacting a scene from Trajan's column, and in particular, at being rowers on a Roman ship.

All boys were great company and each one had a favourite moment.

Some enjoyed … looking at the coins, because I find they can show a lot of archaeological information on one small round piece of metal …; … touching the artefacts, because I felt I was close to the people who touched it before …; … the statues in Gallery 21 the most, because I am amazed by the detail of the statues, for example the faces and the robes …; … looking at statues … it was fascinating learning about the Earl of Arundel’s collection.

Others learnt … that even Romans would abbreviate, especially on tombstones …; … that one denarius can buy 100 litres of local beer …; … that the Romans had some amazing coins, especially in the Didcot hoard…; … how (coins) could mark not only power but important events…; … that the Romans gave offerings to the spirits of the dead.

What the boys have seen will enrich their understanding of the stories they encounter in their learning of the classical languages and traditions.

Dr Nixon and I are grateful to Miss Freedman, Mr Cleaver and Mr Cuyler for joining the Year 7 young classicists on this trip.

Mrs Brill

Drawing by George S



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