We were honoured to be invited to Silchester for both of their Archaeological open days in July and August.
Silchester is a Roman town in Hampshire, which has been excavated for the last 17 years by Reading University. They have discovered both the layout of the town and the Iron Age settlement which was there before.
At the first open day we took our new quern stones, as well as some grain, and helped the visitors use them to make flour. We ground all the grain we took in just the morning, the stones never stopped turning. It was brilliant to see the opportunities families took to educate children about the origins of bread they eat every day. The archaeologists were also exhibiting a Roman quern from Verulamium (St. Albans), and having ours for demonstration really brought it to life for the visitors.
Before the second open day, we made a replica of an Iron Age warp-weighted loom. We set it up and started weaving at the open day, demonstrating how it worked. This helped to put the finds of loom weights into context for both the public and the students.