On Monday 7th November a group of year 9s had an amazing opportunity to visit Butser Farm. We learned about life before and during Roman Britain for the Celts and for the Romans. We did various activities such as building wattle walls by weaving sticks together, and examining different pieces of Roman archeological findings and discussing what their use was and where in the house they would’ve been found. We looked at different huts and the lifestyle of the Celts before the Romans came. We were taught how the Celts weaved and why it was important and we were shown a live demonstration of this so that we could see the equipment used and how challenging it was. We made paintings inspired by the villa we saw with roman paint, which is made out of natural materials so there was a limited amount of colors available and they could not be mixed together to make new colors. We also made Roman jewellery such as rings and bracelets out of wire.
We learnt about the lives of the Celts before the Romans came and we found out that contrary to popular belief, the Celts were quite civilized before the arrival of the Romans. They managed to do complicated weaving to make their clothes, which was an extremely arduous and complicated business and could be affected by lots of external factors, such as the amount of light available and the temperature. Also, it was said that the Celts had some better boats than the Romans as their boats were made of oak and had leather sails, meaning that they were better adapted to navigate through rough Atlantic seas.
However, we also learnt that the Romans did bring some great changes to the lives of the Celts. At first, the Celts lived in huts that had only one room and had a big fire in the middle with a hole in the roof above it to let the smoke out. The Romans built villas that had several rooms and some rooms even had under floor heating, known as the Hypocaust. We were lucky enough to see a reconstruction of a Roman villa, which had stunning decorations, like mosaics and paintings.
Our favourite part was building the wattle walls, as this was a great team building exercise because we all had to work together and it was also really fun, as none of us had ever done anything like this before.
Lastly, we would like to thank Miss Dunn and Miss Franz for organizing such an enjoyable and educational trip and we hope that there will be more trips like this in the future.