Archaeology in the Landscape 2008 - 2009

In the first year of this project the museum worked with Gargrave Primary School and community groups. They explored how the Romans who settled in the Craven area lived with their new landscape. Focus was placed on artefacts found at Kirk Sink Roman villa in Gargrave and various local caves. The project aimed to uncover what these objects could tell us about how the Romans lived in Craven.

Gargrave Primary were visited by Ulfric the Roman soldier who told them all about life in Roman-Britain and demonstrated some of his army equipment. They then visited the site of the villa to see if they could uncover any more clues about the Romans of Gargrave. Everything the children discovered and learnt was then put into a play they wrote and performed themselves to show what they thought life was like in Roman Britain.

As part of this year’s project we also got together with our partner museums and archives to present a Time Travellers touring cookery demonstration looking at Food Through the Ages. Craven Museum and Gallery looked at yummy mesolithic food, giving examples of what people would have eaten in prehistoric times around 10,000 years ago. On the menu would have been meats like beaver, boar and hare or fish including eel, trout and mackerel all cooked over an open fire, together with plants like acorns and rose-hips. York Museums Trust gave visitors a chance to taste the bread and stews that helped the Roman legionnaires conquer Britain. Taking visitors on to medieval times was Wakefield Museums Service, who demonstrated a range of sweetmeats and banqueting foods, including the original wedding cake. Finally, North Yorkshire County Record Office gave visitors a taste of a Victorian workhouse diet. Workhouses provided for the poor and meals were basic and strictly rationed, following the same weekly menu of bread, cheese, gruel, soup, potatoes and the occasional scrap of meat.

Gutting a fish the prehistoric way at the Food of the Past event
Cooking stew in a Roman oven at the Food of the Past event Roman soldier Food of the Past event Serving Victorian workhouse gruel at the Food of the Past event