Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teacher's Notes

Resource created by York Museums Trust with research from Reading University.

This resource focuses on the remains of a young woman found in York, England. It can be used to help highlight the ethnic diversity of the Roman Empire, and also the presence of Black people in Britain during this period of history.


Curriculum Links

  • KS2 History: The Roman Empire and its impact on Britain.
  • KS2 History: A study over time tracing how several aspects of national history are reflected in the locality (migration).


Discussion Ideas

  • What surprised you about the story of the Ivory Bangle Lady?
    • Why was it surprising?
  • Research shows that the Ivory Bangle Lady was of North African heritage and was buried with objects that originated from multiple different countries.
    • What do these things that tell us about the Roman Empire?
  • Eboracum was the Roman name for York. What other towns or cities do you know that have changed their name over time?
    • Why do you think that some place names change over time?


Activity Ideas

  • Researchers at the University of Reading are currently studying the Ivory Bangle Lady's skeleton to discover more about how she might have lived, and possibly died.
    • Write down 5 questions you would like to the researchers to answer in their work investigating the Ivory Bangle Lady. 
  • Dating the objects found in her burial, it is likely that the lady lived 300 - 400 CE Conduct research to find out what  life was like around 1600 years ago. Use other Roman themed resources on MyLearning to help with your answer. Think about:
    • The clothes people wore
    • The food people ate
    • Leisure activities
    • What people's houses looked like
    • Sanitation
    • People's health and what medicine was available
    • Growing up 
      • How did the factors above differ between rich and poor people?
      • What about differences between men and women / boys and girls?