‘Top Three Artefacts’ 2019 Classics Final
Anna from Year 8 was the youngest of four finalists for this national competition for students aged 11-19 years old. The competition is run by the Lytham St Anne’s Classical Association and open to pupils from all schools and is hosted by AKS. For their submissions, students were invited to research, produce and deliver a 15-minute presentation to answer the question ‘What are your three favourite artefacts from the Ancient World?’.
Anna was first on stage and spoke very clearly and confidentially about her three favourite objects (The Rosetta Stone, The Lapith & Centaur Carving and The Code of Hammurbai). She gave a highly entertaining account of her rationale for choosing them, demonstrating her extensive knowledge and superb understanding of the ancient world. She used humour effectively, related them to modern times, as well as discussing her personal connection with each of them.
Thomas from KGS went on stage next and he spoke about the boss (metal centre) of a Roman shield found near Kirkham which made it feel very close to home; the Portland Vase, which was so detailed it took two years to make, and a ‘relief’ (sculpture) showing the Emperor Claudius and Britannia celebrating the Roman Invasion of Britain. He explained that it’s Britannia who is featured on our 50p coins, but that the first visual representation of her was through this sculpture.
Archie from Bath followed Thomas. He’d come a long way for the competition, showing the significance and draw of the event. Archie showed pictures of the Gonzaga Cameo, the Bust of Dynamis and photo of a marble carving of Laocoon and his Sons. The marble carving was particularly impressive as it was so life-like. Apparently both Darwin and Charles Dickens have referenced Laocoon’s facial expressions – which has reinforced the statue’s kudos.
Alice from Runshaw College went on last. Her talk focused on the themes of war, peace and unity and started by showing recent newspaper headlines which made her presentation feel very up-to-date. She explained that her favourite artefacts were The Narmer Palette, The Delphi Serpentine Column and the sculpture of Eirene and Ploutos. She also explained that her grandfather always told her that “obscure is interesting” which seemed like a fitting description for the whole competition.
After the judges had deliberated, Thomas was named as both the winner of the People's Vote and of the competition overall, with Archie in second place. Both Anna and Alice were commended for their performances. Professor Scott commented that he couldn’t have spoken “even a quarter as well as the finalists when he was their age”. He noted that this event was the “epicentre of the outreach work” of the Classical Association and about how it’s important for all students to develop a “global competency” to prepare them for current times. He gave positive feedback about all the participants and commented on how he loved Anna’s enthusiasm, personal connection and how she shared how her perspective had changed as she thought about the artefacts. Well done Anna and thank you to Mr. Wainwright who coached Anna on her presentation.