Y3 at The Hive

14th June 2016
Romans in Worcester?
 
Did you know that when Worcester's main library, The Hive, was built they unearthed lots of Roman artefacts? Today, Year Three had the fantastic opportunity of a tour around the library building and two excellent hands-on sessions with a real live archaeologist!
 
We began our day outside The Hive, where we were told that the route of the railway line was once a cobbled Roman street with large buildings on one side. We worked out that, because the site is close to the river, these were warehouses to store goods before they were traded around the country. 
 
Also outside, we found some millstones and waste iron ore slag from deep beneath the ground. This was used to raise the ground level nearly 2000 years ago to stop the area flooding. The Hive itself is built on even higher ground with a series of empty pools to catch floodwater. That's why the main walkway at the front of the building is raised up like a series of bridges.
 
Back inside, we found out about the way the Romans made flour by trying our hand at milling using a reproduction stone quern. it was really hard work! We also worked out some of the foods that the Romans would have been able to grow here, such as pears, wheat and even shellfish from the River Severn; it was much cleaner in Roman times! Then we found out the foodstuffs that the Romans had to transport all the way from Europe and beyond including soft fruits and spices. 
In the afternoon we found out how important Droitwich was in the production of salt and how this one substance was the reason for the Romans' settlement of the area. We looked at real archaeological finds, bones and pottery, and answered realy historical questions. It's not often we get to see things that are 2000 years old and actually TOLD to touch them!
 
At the end of the day, we were treated to a tour of the Children's Library and everyone had a go at returning a book using the automatic machine. It was great fun; if you don't have a Worcestershire library card, they can be obtained from any Worcestershire library. The next time there's a rainy Saturday, why not spend the afternoon at The Hive? There's more to it than you might think.