History Resource Cupboard – lessons and resources for schools

History Resource Cupboard - lessons and resources for schools

5. What can we learn from Ivory Bangle Lady about Roman migration to Britain?

This enquiry focuses on one of the most significant discoveries relating to the Roman period: the skeleton and grave goods of ‘Ivory Bangle Lady’, excavated in 1901.

Ivory Bangle Lady has assumed a prominent place in historical study of Roman Britain, as analysis of her skeleton reveals that she was of North African ancestry – though she was born in Britain.

In recent years, Ivory Bangle Lady has been included in various lists of significant Britons; she was even mentioned in the House of Commons as part of a speech outlining the importance of Black history being taught in British schools. 

In the lesson, students are encouraged to study a photograph showing the grave goods in detail, as they try to work out when the items might originally have been buried.

Then, they listen to the ‘story’ of Ivory Bangle Lady and her discovery, using this to make inferences about her and life in Roman Britain.

An engaging end task sees students writing captions for a museum display of the grave goods, as students demonstrate what they’ve learnt about Roman migration to Britain. 

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  • Lesson presentation: PowerPoint
  • Lesson write-up: PDF
  • Resource Sheets 1: PDF
  • Worksheet 1: PDF

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