Even though Weston Museum is closed for the Heritage Lottery Funded refurbishment, staff and volunteers remain busy creating interactive learning programmes for local schools. The Iron Age is the team’s latest era to be turned into a fun, in-school session and a museum skeleton is being called into service.

The skeleton in question is that of an Iron Age dog and, as children and adults know, all dogs should have names – but this one doesn’t so local pupils are being invited to suggest a suitably Iron Age version of Fido.

The skeleton was discovered during the original M5 excavation works on Dibble’s Farm, Christon in 1970. It is actually made from the skeletons of two different dogs and is believed to be between 2100 and 2600 years old. The dogs, which are thought to be male, were found at the feet of a 25-35 year old man within a small group of Iron Age burials discovered at the farm. Until the museum’s closure for refurbishment, the dog was on display in the Archaeology Gallery and was one of the most popular items for children and adults alike. It is currently being stored at the Somerset Heritage Centre in Taunton with the rest of the collection, awaiting its likely return to its ‘kennel’ in Burlington Street when the museum re-opens in 2017.

During the Iron Age sessions children have been learning all about grave goods and how important dogs were to people of that time. With this in mind the museum team would like to encourage children to suggest an appropriate name for the dog. Katherine Bell, Museum Supervisor said, ‘The dog has been on quite a journey. It would be lovely for it to have a name when it comes home.’

The compdogetition is open to all local key stage 1 & 2 children and entries should be forwarded to the museum via post (no stamp needed);
Museum Dog Competition
Weston-super-Mare Town Council
Free post (SWB2042)
BS23 2ZZ

email; Museum@wsm-tc.gov.uk

or by a parent/ guardian using our facebook or twitter pages (private messaging only please).

All competition entries should be clearly marked with the child’s name, age and school below the name they have chosen for the dog, as well as contact details of a parent or guardian to allow the winner to be notified. The winner will be announced on Monday the 18th April and will receive a goody bag of exciting history and museum related items, such as toys, stationary and a book. There will also be 2 runner up goody bags.

If you would like to get involved with supporting the learning sessions as a volunteer, there are various opportunities to get involved with outreach work to schools and community groups. The museum aims to give volunteers a stimulating, varied and enjoyable experience. If you are interested in joining the team, just download a volunteer application form and return it to the museum by email at museum@wsm-tc.gov.uk. Feel free to contact the museum team on 01934621028 if you have questions about volunteering or are have difficulty downloading the form.