Memories from ITP 2010: A trip to Arbeia


The Partnership Museum coalition afforded me the opportunity to visit Tyne and Wear Archives & Museums (TWAM) in Newcastle and one of the interesting places we visited was Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum which was founded in 1953.

It was exciting for me because it actually had an excavation site with excavators at work, this was the first time I had seen such and was thrilled.

The finds recovered by the Victorian excavators in 1870s is said to form the nucleus of the present collection. It is the largest and most important from the Hadrian’s Wall. I took time to go into the gallery and was welcomed with a glass-like see through grave complete with a skeleton in it.

In the gallery were stone pieces, grave stones and potteries dug from the finds in the fort on display. It was a beautiful place to behold. We were fortunate to see how the fort was because a make shift fort was built to give us a feel of how it looked back in the days with the original foundations still intact.

I could not help but notice how the soldiers lived and how the regent commanders lived; it was so different from the soldiers, the commanders lived in opulence while the soldiers lived in cramped sheds. The power of ranking played out here. I was there with two other colleagues of mine, our tour guide Alex Croom and Jarkie Bland of Discovery Museum and we had so much fun in Newcastle upon Tyne.

It turned out to be a wonderful experience and we all learnt something and enjoyed our trip to be ARBEIA.

Cynthia Iruobe