A Review of 2013
Events & Flintknapping:
- During the year, I filmed with Time Team on two occasions, the first at night in August on a beach at Low Hauxley is (Northumberland). The regular cast Francis Pryor, Tony Robinson and Phil Harding were talking to specialist Dr Ffion Reynolds and I was the Shaman interpreter dancing around the fire. Then in December, I was performing on a green-screen set in Bristol with three other Bronze Age reenactors. I am not sure when the Special will be broadcast, but it should be great.
- With thirteen new clients during 2013, I was flintknapping (demonstrations, workshops or living history) at many new locations and events. Visits to the Island of Jersey and Anglesey being the longest round trips.
- At the beginning of 2013 I joined a team of around 20 volunteers at the Ancient Technology Centre to gather the raw materials that were used in the construction of three Neolithic Houses at Old Sarum, based on excavations of house plans at Durrington Walls.
- The main archaeology dig of 2013 was a just a few days at a University excavation in West Kennet Avenue, Avebury in July. The 'avenue' originally contained around 100 pairs of prehistoric standing stones, raised to form a winding 1.5 mile ritual link between the pre-existing monuments of Avebury and The Sanctuary. Not too much was found during the short time I was there, with the exception of a fine flint arrowhead.
- I visited a number of key archaeology UK sites for the first time, including Low Hauxley (Northumberland), Ice Age island of Jersey, Bryn Celli Ddu in Anglesey and the Great Orme mine.
Courses & Certificates:
- During my final year of my BSc Archaeology degree at Southampton University, I have had little time to attend many other courses or events; however the two I did were interesting and fun.
- In early April, I attended a NAS Part III - Conservation of Waterlogged Wood course held at the Mary Rose Trust, Portsmouth to learn about treatments of waterlogged archaeological wood. This was shortly before the new visitor centre opened and so was a great opportunity to see behind the scenes.
- In August I joined a 4 x 4 voyager session with Woodland Ways in a National Forest, to learn about driving a Land Rover Defender 110 in off-road conditions. This was great “muddy” fun and I also learned how to prepare pigeon for lunch.
- Some small changes were made to the Ancientcraft website during 2013, with the addition of new content and styles changes.
- With over 77,800 visitors, the average number of monthly visitors to the site is nearly 6,500 and ancient art (particularly the Venus of Willendorf) is consistently a favourite of the visitors.
- The Ancientcraft Twitter account now has over 500 followers and well over 3,500 tweets so far
Living History Kit:
- Over the last 12 months, I have been adding to my kit list with the Shaman outfit being the most prominent and receiving the greatest attention from the public.
What will 2014 bring for Ancientcraft ................
Ten flintknapping/living history events confirmed so far, with several more being discussed. The exciting aspect for these events in 2014 will be working with many new clients at different locations, plus more activities relating to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. Ancientcraft will subsequently be subtitled "Three Age Experience" to emphasis the broader period of living history. Special programmes are being developed for Key Stage 2 and 3 students, with a aim to support teachers as they create learning experiences to address the history curriculum changes to include focus on The changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
Watch this space for more news from Ancientcraft.