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Let's dig

Key facts

  • Suitable for: Key Stage 2
  • Subjects: English, Geography, History
  • Session type: Museum led
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Class size (maximum): 30
  • Venue: Museum of Liverpool
  • Free


Be an archaeologist and make your own discoveries about Liverpool and the surrounding areas. Carry out excavations of Prehistoric, Roman, Viking, Tudor or Victorian sites, whilst learning about the importance of evidence and investigating the finds.

This session can be booked Monday to Friday at 10.15am, 11.30am and 1.15pm.

Further details

school children digging in a container of earth

© Paula Parker

The session begins on the Museum of Liverpool’s timeline in the History Detectives gallery which provides a 38 metre overview of Liverpool history and includes more than 700 objects. Discussion introduces pupils to the work of archaeologists and the Manchester Dock excavation is used to highlight how an archaeologist uses clues from the past to tell us about people’s lives at different times. The geographical location of the Museum is explored as it is built on the site of the Manchester Dock.

The use of archaeological tools and digging techniques are demonstrated.  Pupils then have an opportunity to be archaeologists and make their own discoveries about Liverpool and the surrounding areas. Classes explore four time periods chosen from Prehistoric, Roman, Viking, Tudor and Victorian. Please inform the bookings team which time periods your class would like to explore.

Discussion during this session is highly interactive and focuses on the archaeological finds pupils uncover at each time period. The discussion is guided both by Museum and teaching staff and encourages pupils to focus, observe, and interpret the objects for themselves. Focus questions include what materials objects are made from, who might have used them and what they tell us about the lives of the people who used them?  

A minimum of four adults is required to accompany groups for this session.

Groups may like to combine this session with self led exploration of the Museum of Liverpool’s timeline.

Curriculum links

Key Stage 2 - History

  • a local history study.
  • changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
  • the Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.
  • the Viking and Anglo-Saxon struggle for the Kingdom of England to the time of Edward the Confessor.
  • a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends pupils’ chronological knowledge beyond 1066.

Key Stage 2 - Human and physical geography

  • describe and understand key aspects of human geography, including types of settlement and land use, economic activity including trade links, and the distribution of natural resources including energy, food, minerals and water.

Key Stage 2 - English Spoken Language

  • listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers.
  • ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • learn about Liverpool, its region and its people from the earliest times.
  • understand Archaeologists use a variety of techniques to find out about the past.make connections to real people across time through objects and stories.
  • understand the importance of the historical value of objects.


  • develop observation skills by looking for clues in objects.
  • improve their speaking and listening skills in a group discussion context.
  • learn to give reasoned answers backed up by evidence.


  • the importance of artefacts as clues to the past.
  • gain some understanding about the historical importance of the work of archaeologists.


  • view the Museum of Liverpool as an enjoyable place to visit.
  • appreciate the Museum’s archaeological finds are a resource which help tell the story of the local area.