"Life and death, Pompeii and Herculaneum" Visit guid for primary teachers

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Visit guide for primary teachers Life and death Pompeii and Herculaneum 28 March – 29 September 2013 Portrait of baker Terentius Neo and his wife. Pompeii, AD 55–79. © Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei. Contents About the exhibition 3 Planning your visit 5 Exhibition activity sheets 7 Rooms in the house: the atrium 8 Rooms in the house: a cubiculum 9 Rooms in the house: the garden 10 Rooms in the house: the living spaces 11 Rooms in the house: the kitchen 12 People in the house: slaves 13 People in the house: house guest 14 People in the house: the client 15 People in the house: the mistress 16 People in the house: children 17 People in the house: the master of the house 18 Briefing sheet for adult helpers 19 Background information 20 Exhibition image bank 26 Further resources 27 Visit Guide for primary teachers Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum 2 About the exhibition This exhibition focuses on the house and home life in Pompeii and Herculaneum in the first century AD rather than on the towns themselves and the cultural institutions and practices associated with town life, such as trade, the forum, public entertainment, the baths, politics and so on. Objects in the exhibition are grouped according to the room of the house with which they are most closely associated.

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Publié le 11 septembre 2013
Nombre de visites sur la page 45
Langue English
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Visit guide for
primary teachers

Life and death
Pompeii and
Herculaneum
28 March – 29 September 2013


Portrait of baker Terentius Neo and
his wife. Pompeii, AD 55–79.
© Soprintendenza Speciale
per i Beni Archeologici di
Napoli e Pompei.













Contents

About the exhibition 3
Planning your visit 5
Exhibition activity sheets 7
Rooms in the house: the atrium 8
Rooms in the house: a cubiculum 9
Rooms in the house: the garden 10
Rooms in the house: the living spaces 11
Rooms in the house: the kitchen 12
People in the house: slaves 13
People in the house: house guest 14
People in the house: the client 15
People in the house: the mistress 16
People in the house: children 17
People in the house: the master of the house 18
Briefing sheet for adult helpers 19
Background information 20
Exhibition image bank 26
Further resources 27




Visit Guide for primary teachers
Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum 2
About the exhibition

This exhibition focuses on the house and home life in Pompeii and Herculaneum in
the first century AD rather than on the towns themselves and the cultural
institutions and practices associated with town life, such as trade, the forum, public
entertainment, the baths, politics and so on.

Objects in the exhibition are grouped according to the room of the house with
which they are most closely associated. The exhibition is intended to evoke
something of the layout of a house in Pompeii or Herculaneum and does not
reconstruct an actual house.


The layout of the exhibition is as follows:

Introduction and video presentation introduces the two towns, the nature of the
eruption that destroyed them and how what was preserved offers insight into the
lives of their inhabitants.
Outside the house a glimpse of the urban context of the houses and street life;
two displays on a shop and a tavern
The rooms of the house the main part of the exhibition is a room-by-room display
of objects, paintings and mosaics
Dying the final section examines the destruction of the towns and the fate of those
who died, but stresses their lives as represented through their possessions,
homes, images and words.

Objects for children
We have selected a number of objects and sets of objects which we think KS2
students will enjoy looking at. These are marked with the dog symbol on the left.

Sexual content
Please be aware that some objects and images in the exhibition have sexual
overtones, mostly due to the depiction of a phallus. In the Garden section of the
exhibition, there is a statue of the goat god Pan having sexual intercourse with a
goat. This statue has been placed in an area which you will find easy to avoid if
you prefer. Explicit sexual imagery was an accepted feature of ancient Roman
culture and, in the case of the phallus, was associated with good luck and fertility.
These associations may be of help in dealing with students’ questions.

Dead bodies
One of the first objects the students will see is the famous plaster cast of a
struggling dog. The final section of exhibition includes one resin and five plaster
casts of human victims of the eruption of Vesuvius, including a family of two adults
and two children. Please encourage students to behave with respect in this
section. Response to the casts can range from exaggerated revulsion to prurient
interest to emotional upset. We recommend talking with students about the casts in
school, before they visit the exhibition. Discuss how the casts were made (see
page 25), how the objects discovered with them inform us about who the people
were and what they decided to carry with them in their attempt to escape the
eruption, and how they remind us that this distant historical disaster was a real
event involving real people.
Visit Guide for primary teachers
Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum 3
Using the exhibition

In advance
Decide on a focus for the visit and a follow-up activity and go through these with
the students. Some examples of possible ‘big question’ focuses are given on
page 5.
If you are using activity sheets, go through them with the students in advance.
Use the ideas in Pre-visit preparation below (see page 6) and the exhibition image
bank (see page 26) to provide general background and to familiarise students with
some of the content of the exhibition.

On the day
Divide the class into small groups, with an adult assigned to each group.
Give each adult a free exhibition guide, available at the exhibition entrance.
Give each adult a copy of any activity sheets the students are using and a briefing
sheet (see page 19). Explain what you want the students to do in the exhibition.
Encourage adults to allow students to linger at objects which interest them, to
discuss what they see and share things they find out as they go round.
Remind students to behave calmly and politely.
Photography is not allowed within the exhibition, but students may take photos of
relevant objects in the Museum’s permanent galleries.

Afterwards
Discuss the students’ thoughts and responses to the exhibition.
Use what the students have gathered in the exhibition for the follow-up activity.
Re-visit the exhibition image bank, if relevant.

Visit Guide for primary teachers
Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum 4
Planning your visit

We recommend the following three guidelines in planning your students’
visit to the exhibition:
 provide a focus that students should keep in mind as they explore the exhibition
and which you can follow up afterwards
 do some preparatory work in school to develop the focus of the visit and
familiarise students with the content of the exhibition
 allow students some scope to explore to find objects that interest them

Curriculum links
The exhibition offers opportunities in the following curriculum areas and for cross-
curricular work:
History
archaeology and how evidence is found, types of evidence, finding out about the
lives of men, women and children in the past
English
the story of the eruption and of the experiences of the people offer great potential
for a wide range of kinds of writing and oral work, including poetry and drama
Science
volcanoes, the advantages and risks of living near a volcano, the process and
consequences of eruptions
Art and design
wall paintings, mosaics, jewellery and decorative objects; patterns, animals, plants
PSHE and Citizenship
responding to natural disasters, preserving the past, excavating human bodies

Structuring the visit

It is often a good idea to have a general ‘big question’ for the students to
keep in mind during their visit. Here are some possible examples:
 What was the most interesting object in the exhibition?
 What did I learn about the Romans that I did not know before?
 What sources of evidence does the exhibition include?
 How useful did I find these for learning about Roman life?
 What have I learned about the Roman world from the objects in the exhibition?
 What else would I put in the exhibition to make it interesting/informative?

This guide includes a number of activity sheets which you can use or adapt to help
focus the students as they go round the exhibition – see pages 7-18.

If you want students to do any drawing, we recommend that they draw one thing
carefully rather than doing lots of drawings.

Encourage the students to enjoy looking at objects they find interesting as well as
completing their focused work.

Visit Guide for primary teachers
Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum 5
Pre-visit preparation

Here are a few suggestions of things to do before your visit to
prepare students.
 Use maps to identify the location of Pompeii and Herculaneum and to help
students understand the relative positions of the two towns, Naples, Vesuvius
and the Bay of Naples.
 Use some of the resources listed on pages 27-28 to help students understand the
nature of the volcanic eruption, its impact on the people and buildings and how
the eruption served both to destroy and to preserve the towns.
 The Roman politician and writer Pliny the Younger was an eye witness to the
eruption. Read and discuss some extracts from his letters where he describes the
eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the death of his uncle, Pliny the Elder, and his own
experience of the eruption (see page 27).
 Familiarise the students with the layouts of houses in Pompeii and Herculaneum
and the architectural appearance of the rooms. This will help them contextualise
the objects they see in the exhibition.
 Look through the exhibition image bank (see page 26) to introduce students to
the kinds of objects they will see and to familiarise them with some objects they
will subsequently see ‘for real’.
 Choose one of the wall paintings, mosaics or objects in the image bank and
explore in detail what information a single item can provide about life in the
ancient Roman period.
 Look at Roman objects in the Explore section of britishmuseum.org

Visit Guide for primary teachers
Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum 6
Exhibition activity sheets

There are two sets of activity sheets:

Rooms of the house
A sheet for each section of the exhibition which asks students to look at the objects
and think about how they link with the purpose of the room; suitable for in-depth
study of one room

People in the house
A sheet for each of several ancient characters; the sheets ask students to select
objects that are connected with the character; suitable for taking students to
several different sections of the exhibition

We advise you to allocate one activity sheet to each group of students or, at most,
one sheet from each set, in order not to over-direct the visit.

The activity sheets are designed to be printed/ photocopied as separate sheets
of A4.

Students can use the sheets to record their findings or simply as prompts for
exploring the exhibition.

Use these in combination with the briefing sheet for adult helpers on page 19.
Visit Guide for primary teachers
Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum 7
Rooms in the house: the atrium

The atrium was the first room you entered and was usually the
biggest in the house.
People who wanted to do business with the master of the house
waited for him here.
This is where the members of the household made offerings to the
gods of the house and its family.
The master could use the atrium to show off to visitors.

Find:










something connected with something connected with work that
worshipping the gods went on here
something the slaves would find something that would impress
difficult to keep clean visitors to the house

Write your ideas down if you want to.
If you want to draw, choose just one thing to draw carefully.

Talk:
What does your group think would impress visitors most?

Don’t miss!
Look out for objects with this symbol.


8
Rooms in the house: a cubiculum

Cubiculum is the Latin word for bedroom.
The cubiculum usually had no windows.
This is where people got themselves for the day.
Slaves would bring water for washing.

Find:










something used to get ready for the
something used to light the room day ahead
something the slaves could carry
water in something for sleeping

Write your ideas down if you want to.
If you want to draw, choose just one thing to draw carefully.

Talk:
Discuss with your group how the Romans got ready for the day
ahead.
Do you do the same?

Don’t miss!
Look out for objects with this symbol.


9
Rooms in the house: the garden

The garden was for rest and enjoyment.
Gardens had real plants and artists sometimes painted plants and
animals on the walls.
Water for the fountains came in pipes.
The master could use the garden to show off to visitors.

Find:











something that would make a visitor some plants and flowers painted by
feel relaxed an artist

something that shows the
garden belongs to a wealthy and
some fountains and waterpipes important person

Write your ideas down if you want to.
If you want to draw, choose just one thing to draw carefully.

Talk:
Discuss with your group what you enjoy most about this garden.

Don’t miss!
Look out for objects with this symbol.


10