Bringing the ancient to life in Liverpool’s schools

Egyptology PhD Claire Ollett shows an ancient Egyptian shabti to a pupil at Liverpool college

The University of Liverpool took 4,000 year old artefacts to Liverpool College, as part of a project to create a hub for the study of the ancient world by primary and secondary pupils throughout the city.

Professor Thomas Harrison, of the University’s School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, said: “This is a new collaboration. Liverpool College is becoming an academy, sponsored by the University, and we want it to be a hub for outreach work in the study of the ancient world. We want to expose their pupils to the University, so they have their aspirations raised.

Hub for study of the ancient world

“This is one of a number of schools initiatives we are running that reflect our research strengths, from the archaeology of human evolution through to ancient Greece, Rome and the Near East.”

The University is running two weekly clubs for 11 and 12-year-olds at the south Liverpool school. The first is led by graduates and gives an initial taste of ancient Greek language, with the second focussing on a wide range of topics in the archaeology of the ancient world.  

“We look forward to helping the University revive the teaching of classics and archaeology throughout secondary schools”

Liverpool College Principal, Hans Broekman said: “Classics is the ultimate interdisciplinary subject combining skills in archaeology, language study, history, and literature. It is fantastic training for all sorts of disciplines and careers, as well as being inherently fascinating and exciting.

“Our pupils are very interested in these subjects and excited to be taught by university experts in the field. We look forward to helping the University revive the teaching of classics and archaeology throughout secondary schools.”

Open-mouthed reaction

And Professor Harrison says he has been very impressed with the pupils’ response: “It’s fantastic, they absolutely loved getting to handle 4,000 year old artefacts, and knew an amazing amount.

“It’s wonderful. There’s something very exciting about seeing the open-mouthed reaction in people that young.”

The University hopes the classes will continue to develop and is keen to work with other schools across the region to develop study of the ancient world.

For further information, please contact our outreach coordinator, Dr Glenn Godenho on


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