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Bristol archaeologists help pupils explore school’s history

Image of archaeologists and school children working together

School children test their strength using an augur to take soil samples Joe Sprecher

Image of testing out ground-penetrating radar

Testing out ground-penetrating radar Joe Sprecher

Press release issued: 5 February 2016

University of Bristol archaeologists have been working with local primary school children to explore the history of land adjoining Two Mile Hill Primary School in Kingswood.

The children helped the archaeologists to conduct a geophysical survey and soil analysis of the site ahead of its use for a sustainability arts project by Dutch architects Ooze as part of Bristol’s year as European Green Capital.

Dr Philip Rowe, from Bristol’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology demonstrated the use of ground-penetrating radar which allowed the children to see sub-surface radar reflections of cottages that once existed on the site, providing new insight  into local history. 

PhD student Henry Webber demonstrated how to take and examine soil samples in order to see how the human use of the site affects the ability of plants to grow there today.  First year undergraduates Beth Holland and Rose Britton helped with the work and second year Joe Sprecher took photographs to document the day.

PhD student Aisling Tierney, who led the organising of the dig said: “It was great to see the school children engaging with local history in such a hands-on way – several even said they’d like to be archaeologists when they grow up. 

“At the pupils’ request, the team are now going to do some geophysical surveying of the school playground to help find out the extent of an old air raid shelter underneath it.”

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