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Leekfrith Iron Age Torcs
Discovered in the Staffordshire Moorlands, these three gold neck torcs and one bracelet from the Iron Age were declared Treasure earlier this year and have been valued at £325,000. This fabulous gold jewellery, was unearthed by metal detectorists in 2016. The intricate decoration on the bracelet is a rare example of Early Celtic art. The British Museum, which has assessed the torcs, believes that they date to around 400-250Bc and are probably the oldest Iron Age gold found in Britain. They give us a tantalising glimpse of life in North Staffordshire around 2,500 years ago before the arrival of the Romans.
Once the torcs were declared treasure and the national independent Treasure Valuation Committee valued them the race was on to raise the funds to secure the artefacts for the museum and ensure that were not separated and sold to private bidders.
On 19th December 2017 it was announced that the Museum’s fundraising campaign, spearheaded by the Friends of the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, had reached its target. Donations from members of the public and major support from funding bodies as well as trusts and local businesses have been flooding in since the campaign to save the torcs was launched in September. In early December generous grants of up to £165,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and £80,000 from Art Fund took the total raised to its target. This follows on from a £40,000 grant fund provided by Arts Council England and managed by the Victoria and Albert Museum, and £25,000 from The Headley Trust – one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts – received in November.
The archaeology gallery showcases Staffordshire’s rich and diverse archaeological heritage from prehistoric technologies to daily life in a Roman household, medieval monasticism to the early potters of Burslem. It includes fascinating excavated material and exciting treasure finds from across the county.
Key Stage 2 Workshops
Clay Portrait Heads (KS1/2) Discover sculpture in our art gallery. Draw a friend and investigate the properties of clay by sculpting a portrait.
Bones and Skeletons (KS2) Compare skeletons and examine bones. Find out about the boneless wonders of the animal kingdom, including our (dead) tarantula! Up to two hours.
Rock Science (KS2) Discover how useful rocks are. Test rocks for hardness and porosity through fair testing. Choose soils or fossils to end your session. Up to two hours.
Food Chains (KS2) Assemble food chains in habitats using our preserved specimens. Watch your pupils go hopping mad as they play the Food Chain Game. Supports the Eco School award biodiversity targets.
Ancient Greeks (KS2) Hear about Greek gods and everyday life in Ancient Greece. Study Greek pots thousands of years old and learn about their influence through the ages.
Greek Coil Pots (KS2) Find out how the Ancient Greeks shaped their famous pottery. Make and decorate your own Greek pot from air drying clay.
Staffordshire Hoard Helmets (KS2) Hear the story of Hoard’s discovery and why it’s so important. View the Hoard up close and make your own Anglo-Saxon style helmet inspired by the distinctive designs of the period.
All Change (KS2/3/4) Examine evolutionary adaptations by comparing and contrasting organisms from our fabulous collection of skulls and stuffed animals.
Beetling About (KS2/3/4) Examine beautiful beetles from our collection and discover the benefits of classification. Identify samples by completing our binomial keys.
The Colour of Nature (KS2/3/4) Does colour mean the same to us all? Why do some animals blend in while others stand out? Investigate real specimens from nature from the museums collection. Learn about adaptation and camouflage.
99% Ape? Human Evolution Workshop (KS2/3/4) Investigate replica human and ape skulls from the ancient past to look for evidence of human evolution.
Roman Face Pots (KS2) Roman face pots were clay vessels decorated with a Roman style face. They have been found all over the Roman Empire. Find out what these unusual pots were for. Then make your own face pot from clay.
Anglo Saxon Pots (KS1/KS2) Anglo Saxons used clay pots for many of their everyday life activities from cooking, to cremation. Create your own Anglo Saxon Pot from clay, inspired by our collection and decorate it the Runic Alphabet.
Prehistoric Pots (KS1/KS2) Learn how Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age people made their pots. Create your own Stone age pot from clay, inspired by the pots in our collection and decorate it with it natural materials.
Fossils (KS2/3/4): This session explains how fossils form; what they tell us about how life has changed on Earth; how to recognise different sorts of fossils and how to handle and investigate specimens carefully. Pupils will use our moulds to cast a plaster fossil, practise drawing and recording fossils in hand specimen using items from our collection dating from 600 Million years ago to the last glaciation less than 1 Million years ago. [Risk Assessment PDF]
Real World Science
Try the work of a real life scientist in our Real World Science workshops