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Year 3 Roman Trip to Norwich Castle

Year 3 enjoyed a super day of hands-on learning at Norwich Castle this week. They met four very persuasive characters from two thousand years ago in Roman Britain – two Iceni tribe members and two Romans – who tried throughout the day to win their support. Did our children want to continue supporting their Iceni tribe and traditional Celtic way of life, or would they switch allegiance and support the progressive Romans?

First up was Julia, the wife of a Roman tax collector, who tried to convince the children of the progressiveness of the Romans by taking them on a tour of her villa, showing them how civilized the Romans were in their homes compared to the Iceni. Julia had a number of real Roman artefacts (such as roof tiles, pottery, mosaic tiles and oil lamps) and asked the children to sort these artefacts amongst a number of replica items used by the Romans. Next, the children were set to work in an Iceni village doing all the jobs needed on a daily basis: hunting, gathering, cooking, building fences and wattle and daub walls, weaving wools and dying it with woad (blue dye produced from the leaves of a plant). It was a very pleasant way of life, everybody had their job to do and existed in harmony. Why did they need the Romans? Then the children met Brutus, a Centurion in the Roman Army. He wowed the children with his fighting equipment and techniques, involving them in gladius (sword) and scutum (shield) training. He also told the children that after 25 years of paid service in the Roman Army, they would receive a healthy pension, a plot of land within the Empire and a licence to be able to marry. How could they refuse this offer?

Finally the children met Kethra, an Iceni woman who gave them a tour of her Round House and told them all about the amazing Torc necklaces the Iceni made for important people in their tribe. She also told the children how the Romans came to take all their money in taxes, and if they didn’t have enough money to pay that the Romans would steal their beautiful Torcs instead. Kethra really didn’t like the Romans and told the children how long the Iceni had been living peacefully in Norfolk before the Romans came over and started to interfere, and how they buried their treasures in the ground to hide them from the Romans. The children saw evidence of this in the museum, looking at the amazing Iceni jewellery found buried in the ground in the Snettisham Hoard, between 1948-1973. The children also made their own fabulous Torcs in gold or silver.

You’ll have to catch our children and ask them yourselves to find out if they were pro Iceni or pro Roman at the end of the day, what a lovely day out in Norwich, Norfolk!