Thames Mudlark Tells History Pupils to Get Their Hands Dirty
Byline: Ellen Widdup
AN AMATEUR archaeologist is hoping to take children as young as five down to the mud banks of the Thames to search for buried treasure.
Steve Brooker, a "mudlark" who has helped find more than 13,000 objects of historical significance by the river, wants to encourage primary and secondary school classes to join him for a dig. The 47-year-old has plans to start a history museum which would house some of his artefacts and provide a base for groups to explore the banks.
"This would not be like any other museum where kids get bored after five minutes," he said. "They could become involved in history, touch it, smell it, even change it."
He said he could give each class of 30 children who came to dig with him a guarantee that at least one would find something of major interest. "The banks are teeming with surprises -- from Elizabethan coins, buttons and pins to even older bits of pottery, bones and spears. The only rule will be that finds are handed over to the Museum of London to be recorded. The child's name will appear on that recording. …