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Sat, 20 May



Happisburgh Handaxe Weekend

Join experimental archaeologist Dr. James Dilley, to celebrate and explore the artefact, voted the most important find by a member of the public on ITV1's “Britain's Secret Treasures”: The Happisburgh handaxe.

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Happisburgh Handaxe Weekend
Happisburgh Handaxe Weekend

Time & Location

20 May 2023, 10:00 – 21 May 2023, 16:00

Stalham, Stalham, Norwich NR12, UK


The Course:

Our weekend will begin at the new AncientCraft workshop, with an introductory talk on the archaeology of the Lower Palaeolithic, where we’ll take a look at what life would have been like in Norfolk over 500,000 years ago!

This distant time period has not left much evidence for archaeologists to study, so what can we find out about the people who lived here so long ago? Using stone artifacts, environmental and climatic evidence you’ll learn how different Britain was when it was occupied by a different human species to us!

The rest of our first day will focus around a flintknapping workshop that will guide you through the very basics of core and flake technology used at the earliest site found at Happisburgh dating to around 950,000 years ago. Once you have started to get to grips with detaching flakes from a core, we’ll move onto flake tools such as scrapers and piercers to begin building a useful toolkit.

On day two, we’ll resume our knapping workshop in the morning where James will guide you through the process of making your own hand axe, like those still found on the beach at Happisburgh today! This is a challenging part of flintknapping, but with your core and flake experience from earlier and James’s guidance, you’ll have the tools and knowledge to start to get to grips with this next step in making stone tools.

After Lunch, we’ll spend some time talking about flint identification and find reporting and you’ll have the chance to do some object handling. This will be really useful for the final part of our weekend, as we head to Happisburgh beach for a guided beach walk to see the geology of the cliffs and hunt for worked flint!

Participant Information:

Please bring suitable outdoor clothing and shoes as parts of this course take place outside. Participants must wear long trousers and closed shoes, regardless of weather, to protect their legs while flintknapping. The AncientCraft workshop is a 15 minute drive from the beach at Happisburgh and you will receive full address and directions with your booking confirmation.

Fee & Refreshments

Our pricing includes tuition, materials, teas and coffees. Please let us know in advance if you have any dietary requirements. Our workshop is situated next to a pub that may be able to provide lunch if you call in advance or you may wish to bring a packed lunch. Please remember to bring some change for the car parking meter at Happisburgh.


  • Weekend Ticket

    Two day Flintknapping course with Dr. James Dilley in Norfolk.

    Tax: +£28.00 VAT
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