As John Pickin, curator at Stranraer Museum, points out, the Romans had a fairly low profile in Galloway in ancient times. But when primary school teachers in the area were asked what subject they wanted a new mini-museum education resource to cover, they chose the Romans.
A static exhibition about Roman Galloway can be seen at Stranraer Museum until January 12, alongside the new education resource Museum on the Move: Romans, which will tour schools in Galloway over the next 18 months to two years.
"The Romans exhibition and the Museum on the Move resource are the result of a very rewarding collaboration between ourselves and the National Museums of Scotland," says Mr Pickin. "For the exhibition, we have been loaned a superb collection of Roman objects which were found in Galloway, but have never been on display here before. They include a hoard of iron tools and weapons from Castle Douglas and a rare bronze cooking pot, decorated with a head of Medusa, which was recovered from Dowalton Loch in Wigtonshire, where it had probably been thrown as an offering to the gods."
Museum on the Move: Romans makes reference to the Romans in Dumfries and Galloway, but is based on the whole story of the Roman presence in Scotland. It uses replica objects (including costumes to try on) and hands-on activities to explore four main themes: Who were the Romans? When did they come to Scotland? What did they leave behind? What was life like for Roman soldiers here?
The Romans resource is one of five interactive learning kits created for schools and communities through the NMS Museums on the Move project. In addition to the Romans, Egyptian kits have been developed with Shetland, East Ayrshire and Renfrewshire, while Angus has a Picts kit which uses local Pictish stones as a resource.
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