Archaeology Education Pack:
The Body in the Sand

The Body in the Sand Discovery Pack gives you a flexible resource supporting many areas of your curricular work.

Stimulating observation, recording, analysis, problem solving, role-play, creative thought and research, the aim is to aid teaching history and archaeology through use of replica artefacts. Easy to use, it is designed to challenge young minds.

The pack is in two parts:
Part one is a life size archaeological drawing of a grave. Onto this are placed replica ‘finds’ of artefacts enabling exploration and analysis.

Part two is a set of replica costume and artefacts representing a reconstruction of the items from the grave.

The story

The story involves the discovery of an old grave during rebuilding work at a school. Junior archaeologists (your students) are asked to help investigate the remains.

Unfortunately, conditions in the ground have caused everything organic to decay and disappear (just like a rotten apple in a garden). Even some of the bones have gone. All that remains are a few pieces of jewellery. The challenge is to reconstruct the body from these few remains.

What you get

The pack includes an ‘archaeological evidence box’ with ‘finds’ (replicas) from the grave of a typical Anglo-Saxon girl. Supporting notes allow you to recreate the layout of the grave on the classroom floor.

The junior archaeologists first record the grave and investigate the artefacts. They must then answer the question – ‘What did this person look like?

Your pupils can explore what would be left of them after being interred for 1000 years. Zips, eyelets, watches, earrings, tooth fillings, etc.. Does this help with our grave?

Using pack notes and the schools own resources pupils are encouraged to identify the jewellery and investigate how it was worn. This is achieved by experimentation with reconstructions provided – the jewellery, a belt, what appears to be a blanket and a simple dress.

The Solution

Our grave represents that of an Anglo-Saxon girl who lived, and died, about 650AD. She was wearing a dress held up with a pair of brooches. Beads and a pendant were hung between the brooches. She wore a buckled belt with a fire lighting kit plus a cloak held on with another brooch.

The Body in the Sand pack has been designed to be safe for use in a supervised classroom environment.

The pack is designed as a flexible resource. It can be used as a simple resource however it also gives the opportunity for more in depth study of archaeology including problems of interpretation and analysis.

Curriculum benefits

The Body in the Sand activity has benefits beyond history. It is a starting point for creative and innovative work

* creative writing - make up a story or poem to describe the world of our Anglo-Saxon girl
* RE - find out about burial practices in different cultures and at different periods in history
* research into local history - have archaeologists or historians discovered anything interesting about your area
* technology - explore materials available to people in the past, have a go at weaving
* art - design an Anglo-Saxon brooch then make it in clay


Using the Body in the Sand activity pack will be an enjoyable experience for you and your students.

The Body in the Sand activity pack is also available in Greek, Roman and Viking versions.

Price of the complete ‘Body in the Sand’ pack is £385 including UK delivery

As used by professionals teaching archaeology

(C) Keith Matthews/Ceolred Monger 2010