INDIANA Jones was channelled by County Durham care home residents as they whipped up their own archaeological finds for an exhibition.
Dinosaur bones, eggs, and mammoth tusks, a roman shield and sword, and fossils were among the items on display at Pelton Grange Care Home, Front Street, Pelton.
Residents created their artefacts using papier-mâché and paint during several arts and crafts sessions throughout the “Pelton Grange Festival of British Archaeology”.
The fossils, however, were collected from Redcar beach by the care home’s activities coordinator, Suzanne Pratt, and her family. They were then brought into the home for the residents to examine, including a fossilised gryphaea, a type of mollusc that went extinct 34 million years ago.
Residents also took turns mummifying carers Chloe Lowery and Sandra Hays, who they wrapped in bandages.
They also made handprints from plaster of paris, as a replica of ancient handprints found on the Tibetan plateau last year, a volcano with mentos and lemonade, and used a mini-excavation kit to dig for bones and gems.
They then put together a pop-up museum in the care home’s foyer for visitors to look through.
The activities were run as part of the Council for British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology, which took place throughout the second half of July.
Resident Ernest Guy, 84, said: “Making the bones was surreal. I didn’t realise how big they would be. They look so real.”
Fiona Wilson, home manager at Pelton Grange Care Home, said: “I’m so proud of everyone, especially our activities coordinator Suzanne and the effort she put into this project.
“The residents were always asking what they were learning about next and everyone picked up lots of new things. Most of all it was great fun.
“Suzanne made sure she covered every little detail and, when the residents asked if they could make a life size mummy, how could we say no. They did a great job recreating different epochs.
“Residents’ families are super proud of their loved ones’ creations and have loved the exhibition.”