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Testing a rural way of life

Teachers are being asked to test pilot a resource pack on "Scotland's Rural Past" - an archaeological project working with communities across the country to investigate historic rural settlements.

Brian Wilkinson, interpretation officer for the five-year nationwide project, launched by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland in October 2006, says it is aimed at upper primary and lower secondary age groups. It uses case studies of abandoned rural settlements from different parts of Scotland, each with a different history dating back several hundred years. The studies are designed to present teachers with the types of evidence - including aerial photographs, old maps, plans and historical documents - that archaeologists use to investigate and research historic rural settlements and the rural way of life in the past.

As well as undertaking classroom-based activities, teachers are being encouraged to explore rural settlements with their pupils. The organisers can help schools arrange a guided visit to a site, to learn about life in a township and carry out simple archaeological surveying exercises.

E brian.wilkinson@rcahms.gov.uk.

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