Remains of past ages around Eton's rowing lake

This hefty pack of historical resource materials should serve many primary themes, says Gillian Blatherwick

The Archaeology of the Eton Rowing Lake By Pippa Henry and Tim Allen pound;24.95 (inc pamp;p)from Oxford Archaeology, Janus House, Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0ES Tel: 01865 263800 Email: info@oxfordarch.co.uk

A first glance at this rather portly folder filled me with dread. Can this be useful if you don't actually live within spitting distance of Eton Rowing Lake? Believe me, it is. The Archaeology of the Eton Rowing Lake is packed with teaching ideas that could easily be adapted to other archaeological finds.

Channel 4's Time Team have stimulated interest and understanding of history from the remains of what has been left behind, and the authors of this resource have tried to do the same for primary children in creating a comprehensive tome to stimulate the use of accessible archaeological evidence.

They have recognised and exploited the fact that the breadth of archaeological materials covering more than 10,000 years of human occupation found during excavations makes it attractive to schools with no obvious connection to Windsor. The folder includes copiable maps, plans, diagrams, illustrations and reconstruction drawings as well as colour photographs. Specific archaeological language is identified and supported by a glossary. The resources can be used thematically in popular projects such as rivers, settlements or environmental change and feature curriculum areas ranging from history and design technology to the less obvious, such as mathematics.

The fact sheets are particularly good. They gather explanations and references based on cross-curricular themes ranging from farming and land management to the production and use of materials such as pottery, leather and flint, with particular reference to Iron age, Bronze age and Roman settlements.

My only suggestion would be that this archaeological feast would be more digestible were it to be presented on CD-Rom. Diners would then be able to select relevant tasty morsels on a need to know basis.

It is, without question, dry in its current format, but don't dismiss its usefulness - it is a vast and thorough resource.

Gillian Blatherwick is deputy headteacher at Rushey Mead primary school, Leicester

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