Iron Age Skeleton

Gain a fascinating insight into Iron Age life and discover the story of Tarrant Man, the Iron Age skeleton discovered at the site of an archaeological dig in Tarrant Hinton. The Museum of East Dorset is now the caretaker of this Iron Age skeleton, which is the earliest identified case of Tuberculosis (TB) from Britain. We ask you to consider the man behind the skeleton; discover what we have learnt, through scientific and medical research, about his life, his travels and his demise. The packs offer learning opportunities to suit all the key stages and each one encourages students to consider Tarrant Man from a range of different perspectives, using varied suggested cross-curricular activities to accommodate different learning styles and approaches. We aim to celebrate and respect the life and death of the individual “Tarrant Man”, by ensuring that his bones continue to have meaning and significance as a local Dorset ancestor.

We have also provided an “image bank” of related and relevant pictures and photos. The bank can be used either in conjunction with the learning packs or as a separate resource. Be aware that there are graphic close-up images of the bones and the skeleton in the image bank.

You can work through the learning packs remotely, using the photos provided in the image bank as references. Or, if you wish, you could use the resource as the basis for a self-directed visit to the museum, once we are open again.


  • Significant historical events, people and places in their locality.
  • Changes in Britain from Stone Age to Iron Age.
  • Events beyond living memory that are significant nationally and globally.
  • A local history study.
  • Identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of how to work and think scientifically.
  • Look at the function of the human skeleton and how disease can affect the body.
  • A study of an aspect in British history that consolidates and extends pupils’ chronological knowledge from before 1066.


All key stages.


By the end of this set of activities students will:

  • Discover how we find out about the past.
  • Develop an understanding about the basic, and some more complex, aspects of archaeology and how “working scientifically” can aid our investigations.
  • Gain an awareness of how disease and diet can affect our bodies.
  • Produce creative work and explore ideas.
  • Participate in discussion in order to learn; elaborate and clearly explain ideas. .
  • Learn to ask questions and understand that they can be answered in different ways.
  • Develop empathy and understanding through imagination and “explore” exercises.
  • Identify that humans and some other animals have skeletons and muscles for support, protection and movement. 
  • Develop insights into Iron Age life that may not have been previously considered, such as community care.
  • Develop an understanding of sacred and ritualistic activities within societies through the ages.


  • The image bank can be used in conjunction with the learning packs.
  • Stone Age to Iron Age loans box.
  • Watch Dr Martin Smith, a Bournemouth University specialist in human bones from archaeological sites, talk about Tarrant Man, the Iron Age skeleton that was discovered at Tarrant Hinton and is now displayed in the museum.