Archaeologists Have Superpowers

On Thursday 15th November York ISSP held the first of its ISSP7-8 lectures held at the University of York. This series of inspirational lectures from high profile speakers is a termly event for years 7 & 8 and seeks to enthuse, educate and inspire the pupils. We were very lucky to have Alice Toso from the University of York deliver a talk entitled “What lies beneath our feet and other archaeological superpowers”. In Alice’s words ‘This talk will explore the superpowers that archaeologists have to discover the life of past societies. What lies beneath our feet and how do we get to see it? Today we will go for a round-the-world tour among famous archaeological sites to see how archaeologists have discovered them, studied them and what they tell us about life in the past.’

Alice has worked on collections from around the world and is a firm believer that archaeologists have superpowers and should help others gain a whole new perspective on the past. Everyone present had a wonderful opportunity to see through the eyes of an archaeologist and peer into the past.

Below we have an account of the lecture from a student at All Saints School:

All things Archaeology

On November 15th, lots of year seven and eight students from secondary schools in York
were invited to a lecture at the University of York. This was part of the ISSP7-8 lectures for children series. The topic of the lecture was “What lies beneath our feet and other
archaeological superpowers”, given by the archaeologist Alice Toso. At the start of the
lecture, we were divided into 6 groups, and we had to work together to answer questions
throughout the lecture.
The lecture focused on four case studies of early civilisations around the world, including York, Maccu Piccu, and went into detail about their cultures and the methods used to discover and preserve them. I learned numerous things including the fact that the strontium content in bones, can be used to work out where they lived. There was a quiz, about the case studies, and we all won the same amount of points, and
the lecture ended with a question and answer section, where numerous brilliant questions were asked, and clear answers given. Overall, it was a positive experience for the students and I hope to see more things like it in the future.


Thank you to Alice Toso and the University of York for such an amazing lecture and experience!