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Students get to Bare Bones of Archaeology

Notre Dame students experiencing osteoarchaeology.

Notre Dame’s A level Classics students took part in a People in the Past workshop on 20 March. The University of Bradford’s Archaeology Department ran the session, which focused on osteoarchaeology and Pompeii.

This is an annual trip for classical civilisation (classics) students. They always enjoy the opportunity to speak with the university’s archaeology lecturers and undergraduates. During the morning, our students had the chance to gain practical experience in the university’s state-of-the-art labs, learning about osteoarchaeology. Defined as the study of bones found at archaeological sites, our students were able to analyse parts of the human skeleton. They carried out age and sex assessments as well as looking for signs of injury or disease.

In the afternoon, our students learnt about the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. Volcanic ash and pumice buried Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. The ash preserved the city, which archaeologists have since excavated, providing a unique insight into life for its inhabitants at that time. Our students learnt about food and feasting in ancient Pompeii. They also used virtual reality headsets to get an idea of how technical developments are influencing modern archaeology.

Our classics and geography students will have the chance to visit the city as part of a college trip to the Amalfi coast in the summer of 2019. This trip fits with the classics curriculum, which focuses on the literature, history, archaeology, culture and ideas of the ancient worlds of Greece and Rome.

We’re proud to offer such a fascinating and unusual subject here at Notre Dame. If you’d like to know more about it, please click here.