The RFG is in the process of embarking on an exciting new project designed to act as an educational aid.

This project will consist of a series of short films about how to identify objects and will provide an introduction to different topics and materials. They will act as ‘student’ guides but they will also be a useful introduction for either those starting off in finds research, those taking part in various voluntary archaeological community and PAS schemes or simply for those wanting to learn more about life in Roman Britain.

The RFG has set up a working party consisting of Lindsay Allason-Jones, Justine Bayley, Hilary Cool, Nina Crummy, Richard Hobbs, Angela Wardle and myself to devise the content. It is proposed that the project will consist of a brief introductory film looking at the importance of finds research and why we study objects. It will then be followed by a series of short films (each 5 minute max) to ultimately come under six themes (Personal, domestic, working, religious, military and public). Films will have a standardised format and will consist of finds specialists talking about objects for that topic and, where helpful, handling replicas to show how some objects worked or with insets showing replica-makers at work. If you recognise the proposed themes, you’ll see that they tie in with the chapters in Artefacts in Roman Britain (Lindsay Allason-Jones, ed., 2011, CUP) and the Crummy categories in the Colchester small finds report (CAR 2).

A collaborative venture

This will be a long-term project with films being added when specialists, objects and film facilities are available. We are already talking to two university departments, Newcastle and Reading, who are interested in collaborating with the RFG in this venture. Indeed, Newcastle have offered filming facilities (our thanks go to Ian Haynes of the University of Newcastle) and we hope to start on the introductory film with them in the near future. Talks are also proceeding with Hella Eckardt about how we can work with the University of Reading. And thanks also to Richard Hobbs, the British Museum has also offered use of their Roman collection for filming at one of their stores.

Why are we doing this?

The group does not have sufficient funds to publish numerous catalogues and our finds specialists are too busy to write them, so we thought that finding academic partners and putting the information on film was an easier way of making the information more accessible. A number of specialists have already agreed to help with different topics.

It is also hoped that the films will be backed up by an extensive bibliography using the RFG website to provide links to other references. We would appreciate members’ assistance with useful references and online links that we can include. I have asked for these in earlier copies of Lucerna with no response so, please, please, help us to make the RFG the place to go for information!

The RFG website will also endeavour to become the central source for links to Roman finds, be it films/videos, pdfs of out-of-print catalogues or published references, enabling students to see the range of resources available. We may be knocking on your door (not literally!) to ask you to participate so please support the RFG in this exciting venture as it should benefit all RFG members.

So, lights, camera, ACTION ………. and check the website for progress reports!

Jenny Hall