Hello, my name is Harvey and I have recently been doing my work experience at Salisbury Museum.
Over this week I have tried many different things that I would not normally try. However they have been great fun; from cataloguing pottery, archaeological finds and costumes, to shadowing an engagement volunteer and some admin support.
One of my favourite things was the spotlight tour as it gave me more information on not only the artefacts in the museum but also the history of the building itself as it transformed from an abbot’s house to the museum you see today. It is amazing to see everything that goes on behind the scenes and to be able to see all the artefacts on display.
My favourite in the museum has been a Roman Mosaic dating from the 4th century AD now located in the Wessex Galley. It was found in 1953 in the garden of a new housing estate in Downton. It was part of a villa. In total the villa was over 30m long and consisted of 17 rooms, however some of them had been destroyed by a railway built in 1846.
The mosaic was located in the first room and 3m long. It showed a white ground with a geometric design made out of red, white, grey and black tiles in which the central motif was a large vase with two handles in the form of dolphins.
The mosaic was not the only thing found on site. For example there were bones belong to several different animals, pottery, 16 coins, sea food shells and also flint implements dating back to the Neolithic area. This then suggests that the site was used long before the Romans came in and built a villa on the spot.
Inside the villa there were two corn drying ovens and a bathhouse which consisted of three rooms. The ovens where roughly 6 m long and had a diameter of 91cm. Nothing remained above floor level. However. most of the floors and all of the stoking pits remained.
So thank you Salisbury Museum for allowing me to do my work experience here.
Thank you, Harvey