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UK’s one and only Maya archaeologist visits Rathfern

OnWednesday 26thSeptember 2018, Year 4 had a special visit from Dr Diane Davies, a working Maya archaeologist. We found out that she isn’t just a Maya Archaeologist, but the ONLY archaeologist in the United Kingdom to specialize in the Ancient Maya Civilization.

Both classes had a 90-minute presentation where Dr Diane Davies spoke about her life as a working archaeologist and her work on the Maya in the Guatemalan jungle. We were very privileged to see such amazing photos and videos (taken by Dr Diane herself) and even heard real sounds of the animals that lived there.

We found out that although the Maya civilization had come to an end many, many years ago, Maya people, the tradition and culture and even the Mayan language still exist today! Interestingly, we learnt that women who live in Guatemala today wear different coloured and patterned shirts to show which part of the country they live in. (A little bit like school uniform.) What really brought this to life was when we got the opportunity to see these items of clothing and try them on!

After the presentation, we got the opportunity to carry out activities of historical enquiry by exploring and handling a large collection of Mayan artefacts. From jade to flint, codex to death mask, these delicate yet precious artefacts were a breath taking, once in a lifetime experience.


It was a truly remarkable day and certainly one to remember!


Comments from the children:

“It was an awesome experience because we got to touch the artefacts and we got the opportunity to speak to a real life archaeologist!” (Patrycia Year 4)

“It was a really fun morning. We got to taste dark chocolate, which was not very pleasant. At the end of the session, some of us even got Dr Diane Davies autograph!”  (Chajettha, Year 4)

“My favourite part was handling all the objects, especially the jade knife.”  (Abdul, Year 4)

“My favourite part was hearing the sounds of the animals in the Guatemala jungle, especially the jaguars roar!” (Ashton, Year 4)

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