May 112013

The Wall for a 30 room building 50 m long and 70 m wideOne of the most wonderful aspects of living here, as far as I am concerned, is that the kids get opportunities to be exposed to all sorts of things they would just never see in the US.  DS was lucky enough to have the chance to travel to a Roman excavation site in central France this week with his class.

The site is busy excavating the old town of Bibracte.  It was inhabited by Celts/Gauls/Druids back during the time of Julius Caesar.  And, in fact, old Julius loved the place- which, DS tells me, is why they even know what it was called.  The Druids were big on the Oral Tradition and did not write down information about themselves.  But, Julius would visit the town and write of his adventures there.  Apparently, he loved it SO much, that he sponsored the establishment of a new city, just down the road.  All the inhabitants relocated, and the old site was abandoned.  250-300 hectares worth of land, and the archeologists have only managed to excavate 7 so far.  Lots of work to be done!

The site is about 6 hours away from the school, so everyone had to get up very early in the morning on the day they left- the buses set out at 6 am.  Ouch.

Some highlights and low lights of the trip:

  • getting shocked by an electric fence (“feels like getting kicked in the butt!”)
  • “excavating” a cake and using their 5 senses to check it out (yes, they ate it- it was baked with an authentic Roman recipe, I am told)
  • Getting pushed into a barbed wire fence by a rowdy classmate
  • learning how to smelt iron ore into iron age weapons- and learning to shape clay with the same techniques used to shape molten iron
  • falling onto a spiky seed pod (and getting about a dozen splinters as a result!)
  • lots and lots of social hijinks that I am not permitted to relay– let us just say that the average Disney sitcom has nothing on our son
  • climbing a mountain- every European field trip seems to involve mountain climbing for some reason
  • Sleeping in a room that included a Murphy bed
  • lending out all his spending money to friends
  • eating an entire pack of cookies in one night with his roommates
  • observing many cows
  • excavating many planted antiquities and learning how to clean and reassemble them

Here are some photos from his trip:

Leave a Reply