Students go ‘behind the scenes’ on classical archaeology trip
A group of Year 10 and Lower Sixth classics students spent Thursday exploring the world of classical archaeology that is on their doorstep in Cambridge.
Their first stop was the Fitzwilliam Museum, where the pupils were invited “behind the scenes” into the staff-only area of the Department of Antiquities, where they were welcomed by the Keeper of Antiquities, Dr Lucilla Burn, and where Dr Anastasia Christophilopolou led a fascinating handling session where pupils – after they had put on special purple gloves – could examine a range of artefacts, including Bronze Age pottery (from 2500BC), classical Greek vases, and an Etruscan mirror. Dr Christophilopoulou also gave the pupils a conducted tour of the rich Antiquities Galleries.
After lunch at the Sidgwick Site Buttery, the pupils ventured into the Faculty of Classics, where Robin Osborne, Professor of Ancient History, gave a stimulating seminar to introduce students to the history and collection of the Museum of Classical Archaeology. Pupils then explored the museum’s Cast Gallery, seeing replicas of some of the ancient world’s most famous artworks; they had the chance to share with one another their knowledge of the mythological stories represented by, and the historical contexts of, the statues they encountered, while also extending their understanding of the cultures of Greece and Rome.
All those who took part in the trip were thrilled to gain such an insight into the ancient world but also to have a taste of university life for the day.