From Mr James Horrocks, Ancient History Teacher
On Monday of Week 3, thirty-seven students from Years 11 and 12 got the opportunity to visit the Nicholson Museum at Sydney University as part of their senior studies of Ancient History. The students were also able to get a glimpse into what future studies at a tertiary level will involve, as they arrived at the university and were taken for a short tour of just some of the facilities available to students studying at the university.
After this, the group were welcomed by the staff at the museum who outlined the program for the day. The purpose of the visit was to tie in with the Year 11 topic of “Conservation, Preservation and Reconstruction” and the core Year 12 topic of “Pompeii and Herculaneum”.
Students were given a detailed tour of the museum and its exhibits including artefacts from Ancient Egypt, the Etruscans, Ancient Rome and Pompeii. During the tour students were taught how artefacts are preserved and conserved, while ensuring that they are not damaged while on public display.
In the second half of the experience, students were taken to one of the museum’s workshops where they were given hands on access to a number of artefacts not on public display and were guided through the processes undertaken by archaeologists while at a dig. Part of this workshop involved being taught how to study and record a wide number of artefacts ranging from Bronze Age swords to Egyptian heart scarabs. Students were able to interact with these artefacts and learn how the university has been working to preserve them, as well as how archaeologists can use them to learn more about the ancient world.
After lunch the students were taken over over to Fisher Library for a tour of the facilities available to them as HSC students and a short lesson on historical research practices. Skills that will be vital to them as they enter their HSC studies.
Overall, it was a highly engaging and insightful day for our senior Ancient History students, that gave them great insight into their course of study and armed them with yet more skills that will aid them in their studies.