Archives for Teaching

The Archaeology Data Service and Internet Archaeology have a number of archives and publications that may be useful teaching and learning resources for educators and students. Our archives, digital library and Internet Archaeology publications contain a wealth of archaeological and historical data that can be browsed by time period and by location.

The resources below have been selected specifically for use in primary and secondary education and are ideal for teachers to integrate into history or archaeology lessons. There are also a small number of materials ready for use use in classrooms and for independent learning. These archives and publications are also useful in the broader educational context wherever archaeological or historical topics are being taught.

Primary Education


Resources for learning about changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age

Roman Britain

Resources for learning about the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain

    Reconstrucction of a Roman market
  • A Long Way from Home: Diaspora Communities in Roman Britain

    This archive explores the diversity of communities in Roman Britain. It is believed that Britain was home to a wide range of immigrants during the Roman period. The project used scientific techniques to study skeletons to lean more about Roman people and life in Roman Britain.

    The ADS archive provides references to publications and details on the skulls and teeth examined. A teaching resource for Key Stage 2: Romans Revealed was also created by the project. The website presents four individuals selected from our research (some locals and some incomers) and children can explore them either through 'digging up' their graves or through following short stories written by Caroline Lawrence and illustrated by Aaron Watson. A teaching resource pack for teachers provides lesson plans for Key Stage 2 and can be used by children to learn about how diverse Roman Britain was and what the people who lived here during Roman times were really like.

Anglo Saxon and Viking

Resources for learning about Britain’s settlement by Anglo-Saxons and Scots and the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor

    A pair of wooden bottles with elaborate decorative metal rim mounts during excavation
  • The Prittlewell princely burial

    In 2003, Archaeologists excavating the site of Prittlewell discovered an intact Anglo-Saxon princely burial. The princely burial is a find of international significance – the richest and most important Anglo-Saxon burial found since the 1930s.

    Images of the Anglo Saxon, Roman and Prehistoric finds can be viewed in the archive, along with an image search of the beautiful artefacts found at the site. There is also an interactive online chamber where the extraordinary stories behind the objects discovered can be explored in more detail on the Prittlewell website.

  • Silver alloy coins of Eanred c.AD 820-30
  • The Viking Great Army and its Legacy: plotting settlement shift using metal-detected finds

    This project was an investigation of the Anglian and Anglo-Scandinavian settlement at Burrow House Farm, Cottam, East Yorkshire from 1993-95 and was a pioneering collaboration between archaeologists and metal-detectorists, and led to the identification of a new form of Anglo-Scandinavian farmstead. It was also one of the first investigations ever undertaken of a 'productive site', so-called because of the large quantities of early medieval metalwork recovered by metal-detecting.

  • Archaeological Evaluation of the Anglo-Saxon and Viking site at Torksey, Lincolnshire

    Geophysics survey at Torksey in progress

    The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that, in the winter of 872-3 AD, the Viking Great Army spent winter at Turcesige. Recent archaeological work has revealed the location of the winter camp to be located in the present-day village of Torksey.

    The ADS archive contains images of metal-detected finds from the winter camp and there is an Open Access publication available as part of the project.

Ancient Egypt and Early Civilisations

Resources for learning about Ancient Egypt and early civilisations

    Photograph of an Egyptian artefact from Amarna
  • The Virtual Amarna Project

    This 'virtual museum' contains artefacts from the Egyptian site of Amarna, the ancient city built by the Pharaoh Akhenaten in around 1350 BC. Artefacts such as statues, wooden artefacts, spindle whorls, stele and figurines were scanned using a 3D laser scanner and are available in the digital archive. Interactive 3D models of the ancient Egyptian objects can be viewed on the Downloads page, as well as in Virtual Amarna collection on the University of York Archaeology Department’s Sketchfab page.

    This is a fantastic resource for students studying the ancient world to explore and interact with Egyptian artefacts at home. The objects were selected to illustrate the theme of personal religion at Amarna, and this would be an excellent resource for Primary School students studying religion in ancient world. The detail of the 3D models and variety of materials they are made from would also make the virtual museum ideal for projects in investigating Ancient Egyptian art and crafting techniques.

  • Bringing an array of food offerings for Kagemni, vizier of King Teti (Dynasty VI)
  • Oxford Expedition to Egypt: Scene-details Database

    The Egypt Scene-details Database is a simple way of finding information about scenes and scene details preserved on the walls of tombs dating to the 'Old Kingdom' or 'Pyramid Age' of Ancient Egypt (c. 2650 - 2150 BC). The archive contains illustrations depicting daily life in ancient Egypt.

    The Database page can be used to search thematically for scenes such as food preparation, funerary rites, medical procedures, agricultural pursuits, and dance, music and games. This archive would be an excellent resource for projects on daily life in ancient Egypt, Egyptian art or for any history themed art projects.

Secondary Education

Modern History (WW2)

    Illustration of cylindrical concrete blocks defence structures
  • The Defence of Britain Archive

    The Defence of Britain databases were created from field and documentary work carried out between 1995 and 2001. The purpose of the Project was to record the 20th century militarised landscape of the United Kingdom. The archive contains a database of defensive structures in the UK, including 'Anti-Invasion' structures (the defence works built primarily in the period 1940-41 against threatened German invasion) and 'Non Anti-Invasion' features (effectively, all the many other categories of 20th century military sites).

    This archive would be an ideal resource for students studying The Second World War and the changes that occurred in Britain as a result of the conflict. The search page can be used to search for defence structures by the type of site (e.g air raid shelter, pillbox) and by location. The database could also be used for local history projects, enabling students to search for and research a local site or defensive feature.

Medieval Britain

Photograph of Crossing piers from South nave aisle scaffolding at Glastonbury Abbey
  • Glastonbury Abbey

    Glastonbury Abbey was renowned in the middle ages as the reputed burial place of the legendary King Arthur and the site of the earliest Christian church in Britain, believed to have been founded by Joseph of Arimathea in the First Century.

    During the last 20 years a number of archaeological projects have been carried out at Glastonbury Abbey, including archaeological excavations and programme of conserving the monument's upstanding masonry. Some remarkable discoveries have emerged from this work, such as the recovery of the fragmentary remains of a spectacular painted walls within the Lady Chapel. The Archaeology at Glastonbury Abbey on-line archive is split into five sections, with reports and photo galleries on subjects such as The Painted Decoration of the Lady Chapel and Excavations at St Patrick's Chapel.

    Additionally, the Glastonbury Abbey: Archaeological Excavations 1904 - 1979 archive contains the complete dataset form the Glastonbury Abbey Archaeological Archive Project, including project records, databases, geophysical survey data, specialist reports on topics such as the Medieval floor tiles and photographs of artefacts found during excavation, such as fragments of stained glass.

  • Photograph of the Newport Medieveal Ship from above
  • The Newport Medieval Ship

    The Newport Ship is the most substantial late medieval vessel excavated and recovered in Britain. The ship was discovered during development on the west bank of the River Usk in Newport, South Wales in 2002.

    Hundreds of artefacts were discovered on the ship and archaeological analysis of the hull and environmental samples has revealed a lot about the origin and use of the ship, and about the people who sailed on it. Photographs, reports, drawings, videos, 3D models and a reconstruction of what the ship may have looked like are available to download in the archive

Ancient History

    Map from the Roman Rural Britain archive
  • The Rural Settlement of Roman Britain: an online resource

    This project used archaeological evidence to investigate the countryside in Roman Britain. The digital archive includes an interactive map that can be used to search for and view sites such as Roman farms, villas, temples, burials and Roman roads in England and Wales.

    The Query Page can be used to search the project database, using either a keyword search or by creating a custom query with criteria such as the type of site and the pottery, coins or artefacts discovered. Many of the records link directly to the site excavation reports.

    There are also three Britannia Monograph series publications which accompany the project. The first volume, New Visions of the Country-side of Roman Britain, is currently available to download for free in the ADS Library (Volumes 2 and 3 will be available in September 2020 and 2021 respectively).

    This archive is an excellent resource for researching Roman Britain and the impact the Romans had on England and Wales. Students can use the map and archive to find and research a local Roman site or to learn more about the different types of Roman settlement using primary sources.

  • Photogaph of a silver coin with the head of Claudius minted in Syria
  • Analysis of Roman Silver coins, Augustus to the reform of Trajan (27 BC - AD 100)

    Silver coins formed the backbone of currency in the Roman Empire and are likely to have been the main media for long-distance monetary exchange.

    This archive contains a database of Roman coins that can be searched for by Emperor, where they were minted or by denomination. The archive includes photographs and information on each coin, and is an excellent tool for studying the Roman empire, with coins minted in locations such as Egypt, Syria, Gaul, Carthage and Asia.

History and Archaeology Resources

The ADS and Internet Archaeology have a number of resources that cover a multiple time periods and explore historical themes, such as how people in the past styled their hair.