The educational program has three themes: "Saint-Denis, a Town You Can Read"; "Saint-Denis, a Town in the Middle Ages"; and "Discovering the Science of Archaeology". The program makes use of the historical walking tour, the Changeable Model, the archaeological galleries of the museum, and the Archaeological Unit's exhibition space. It also creates other teaching tools and designs specially adapted guided tours and workshops for the very young, schoolchildren, and recreation centers.

Small children and archaeology

Initiation tools have been designed in partnership with the town's crèches, nursery schools and day-care centers. While playing at being archaeologists, small children develop their senses of sight and touch, their observational skills, recognition of materials, etc. "The digging box" and "the carrot box" contain real archaeological objects that children discover, observe and, for the older ones, learn to identify. The Stratigraphic Touch Board and the rabbit that disturbs archaeological layers teach children about the notion of depth.

"The digging box".

© UASD

"The Stratigraphic Touch Board".

© UASD

What the Merovingians wore

The workshop starts with a presentation of archaeological pieces and how archaeologists study Merovingian clothing and accessories. The issue of preservation of fragile materials such as leather and textiles is brought up. At the end, each child makes his or her own fibula or pouch clasp.

Workshop on Merovingian clothing. © UASD.
Workshop on Merovingian clothing © UASD.
Workshop on Merovingian clothing  © UASD

Workshop on Merovingian clothing.

© UASD

Workshop on Merovingian clothing

© UASD

Workshop on Merovingian clothing

© UASD

The story of a pot

This workshop follows the life of an archaeological ceramic, from the excavation to examination, and tackles the question of how it was made. Children are given an educational booklet to guide their discovery of how ceramics are approached scientifically, including classification, reconstruction, comparison, and dating. The workshop ends with a three-dimensional puzzle: the assembly of a copy of a medieval ceramic.

The story of a pot: classification. © UASD.
The story of a pot: the assembly begins. © UASD.
The end of the Story of a Pot workshop-reassembling a facsimile of a 13th century coquemar. © UASD.

The story of a pot: classification.

© UASD

The story of a pot: the assembly begins.

© UASD

The end of the Story of a Pot workshop-reassembling a facsimile of a 13th century coquemar.

© UASD

Archaeology and local development

The Archaeological Unit naturally plays a part in local development as a resource center, but also as a motor for heritage initiatives aiming to enhance the image of the town. In the area of professional integration, and within the framework of the European Equal project, the Service takes part-alongside the association "Franciade"-in training actions and in promoting a new economics of heritage. In addition, "Franciade" publishes and distributes products derived from Saint-Denis's archaeological heritage.