The Colchester Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) met here at the Colchester Roman circus visitor centre on Saturday (20th January), for their first meeting of 2018.
Colchester YAC organiser Barbara Butler writes: ‘… We tried to envisage millions of years in a timeline. Using the floor space, we made a 250,000,000-year timeline. To fit inside the visitor centre, this had to be on the scale of 10,000 years to 1 millimetre. We used coloured A4 sheets of paper which were approximately 30 centimetres in width. There were 19 YAC members at the meeting, and one of them worked out that we would need 83 and one-third sheets! We were aware that Stonehenge would be barely half a millimetre into our timeline. The line went from the stage, all along the large room, into the ‘chariot room’ and round the corner… The young people drew a line drawn across the middle of each sheet, and the scale of 1 millimetre to 10,000 years was put on. Each sheet represented 3,000,000 years. Between 65,000,000 years and 250,000,000 years, the ‘dinosaur periods’ were marked out.
Colchester Archaeological Trust and YAC volunteer Gillian Brown brought out some recent pottery finds from Trust sites for us to look at – interestingly, these were from Walton-on-the-Naze and Brightlingsea, which are both coastal towns and in north-east Essex. Of particular interest were the tiny shell particles which had been incorporated into the pottery fabric to strengthen it. YAC member Teddy had brought in his personal collection of fossils, some of which which he had found in London and Dorset, and he passed them round for us to look at. Colchester Castle Museum had also lent us some fossils, one of them dating back 190,000 million years. We were able to check the approximate period they came from on our timeline.
The YAC members then made fossils and dinosaurs from plasticine. We were delighted when Trust archaeologist Adam Wightman joined us to look at some of the fossils – some of Teddy’s and some of the Museum’s – and talk about them.
The next YAC meeting is in February …’.
The images show the YAC members on Saturday, including with Adam and Gillian and other YAC volunteers, in the large room and the ‘chariot room’ of the Roman circus visitor centre.
If you are aged under 17 and interested in joining the Young Archaeologists’ Club in Colchester, then please contact Barbara Butler on 07808 968 7 6 6 or at barbara[at]peterbutlerdesign.co.uk or Barbara Butler, Colchester YAC Branch, c/o the Colchester Archaeological Trust, Roman Circus House, Roman Circus Walk, Colchester, Essex CO2 7GZ.
The National Young Archaeologists’ Club web-site is at www.yac-uk.org/ .