My weekend didn't turn out quite as I expected.
I'd put my name down to do some volunteer archaeology on Friday, but was told that one test pit had been finished and the next one wasn't ready to start - but would I mind coming up on Saturday with some of my re-enactment stuff to show the Young Archaeologist group?
Any excuse to get the dressing up clothes out!
I arrived in time to tag along with a tour of the Castle, given by Mari Fforde, and then the children were divided into two groups. One lot went out to do some trowelling. Two areas had been de-turfed at the edge of the lawn, and there was a spread of stones just under the surface, which they made good work of cleaning off:
The other group stayed inside the Castle to do some pot washing (technical archaeologists' term here!). They divided up the pot sherds into different types and then spent some time with a piece they had chosen, to describe it and draw it. The younger children needed a bit of help with this, along the lines of: "How do you spell pottery?" but the older children sat in pairs and got on with it with great enthusiasm and very little need for help. There was quite a bit of Victorian and modern pottery, but some interesting slipware and medieval green glazed pottery as well.
One of the mothers who'd come along told me that several of the children were home educated, and belonged to a group that meets regularly.
In the middle of the day, after lunch, I emptied my shopping trolley of weaponry and spinning tools. Apart from one instance of using my leather gauntlets (for safety while sword fighting) as boxing gloves, they were all careful - nothing was lost, and nothing was broken, and they seemed to enjoy trying on the helmet, chainmail and gambeson (the padded jacket that goes under the chainmail) as well.
Next session, they're doing something Egyptian.
I wish there had been a group like this when I was growing up!