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EVENT

WORKSHOPS

AncientCraft delivers a variety of workshops that aim to teach and improve the understanding of prehistoric crafts. Alongside the creation of an object to take home, there is a strong focus to provide background information and contextualise how and why people made and used objects in the past.

Bone & Antler Carving

Bone and antler has been used from the start of prehistory up to the modern day for making tools and ornamentation. People in prehistory had a close relationship with the animals these resources came from, what does that tell us about the past? Join experimental archaeologist James Dilley to make replicas of prehistoric bone and antler artefacts using authentic tools and materials. There is a huge selection of prehistoric objects including harpoons, needles, pins, combs, belt hooks, spear points and fish hooks to name a few - which will you choose? Your tools to make these replicas will include sandstone files, flint tools, copper and bronze tools.

Min Age:

12

Group Size:

8

Price From:

£300

Bronze Age Flanged Axe Casting

Discover how some the earliest metal tools were produced in prehistoric Britain. The flaring blade of the flanged axe is another iconic tool from prehistory, it appears as both artefacts and in rock art at Stonehenge. Their tools were often highly decorated, suggesting a close relationship with its owner. Workshop attendees will prepare their own mould, before working the leather bellows on the charcoal fuelled furnace to melt copper and tin. They will then cast the liquid metal into their prepared moulds to produce a replica early bronze age axe head to take home at the end of the day.

Min Age:

16

Group Size:

6

Price From:

£350

Bronze Age Knife Casting

Following a safety briefing, workshop attendees will prepare their own mould, before working the leather bellows on the charcoal fuelled furnace to melt copper and tin. They will then cast the liquid metal into their prepared moulds to produce a replica late Bronze Age antenna knife head to take home at the end of the day. Students can then begin filing off the casting flash and start cleaning the surfaces of the knife.

Min Age:

16

Group Size:

6

Price From:

£350

Bronze Age Palstave Axe Casting

Cast your own replica middle Bronze Age palstave axe. These axes were developed from the earlier “flanged axe” which lacked high ridges, a haft stopper and loop. Metallurgy analysis shows Welsh copper can be found in over 90% of the early palstave axes found around NW Europe. Following a safety briefing, workshop attendees will prepare their own mould, before working the leather bellows on the charcoal fuelled furnace to melt copper and tin. They will then cast the liquid metal into their prepared moulds to produce a replica palstave axe head to take home at the end of the day. Students can then begin decorating the axe, filing off the casting flash and start cleaning the surfaces of the axe.

Min Age:

16

Group Size:

6

Price From:

£380

Bronze Age Sword Casting

The first swords in Europe were made of bronze. They are an iconic development in the human story as social pressure led to tension between groups and individuals. Swords were as much a tool of fighting as they were status symbols. During the workshop, participants can make either the earliest type of sword in Britain: a rapier, or one the two late sword types in Britain and Europe: the Ewart Park style leaf sword, or the Naue II. Workshop attendees will prepare their own mould, before working the leather bellows on the charcoal fueled furnace to melt copper and tin. They will then cast the liquid metal into their prepared moulds to produce a replica bronze age sword to take home at the end of the day. Students can then begin filing off the casting flash and start cleaning the surfaces of the sword.

Min Age:

16

Group Size:

3

Price From:

£350

Flintknapping

Discover the art of the oldest craft in the world: Flintknapping. How did our earliest ancestors make tools to survive through the Stone Age? Find out with experimental archaeologist James Dilley who will guide you through the process of making your flint tools to take home at the end. The oldest flint tools found in Britain date to around 1 million years ago, the latest around 3000 years ago so you will have the chance to try your hand at a process used for 99.7% of human presence in Britain! The aim of the day will be for attendees to go home with a variety of different stone tools they have made, new flintknapping skills and a new appreciation for prehistoric technology.

Min Age:

10

Group Size:

8

Price From:

£300

Ötzi's Birch Bark Container

Create your own birch bark container, like those found alongside Ötzi the Iceman in the Italian Alps in 1991. Dating to around 5300 years old, the iceman discovery is considered one of the best during the 20th century. Come and find out more about this amazing find of the 20th century and how bark and other plant fibres such as bast were used during prehistory to create equipment, clothing and structures.

Min Age:

12

Group Size:

8

Price From:

£300

Ötzi's Copper Axe Casting

Ötzi the Iceman was probably one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century after being found in the Italian Alps in 1991. One of the most iconic objects found with Ötzi was his copper bladed axe. This workshop offers the chance to cast your own replica of Ötzi's copper axe and learn more about the vast amount of information brought to light about life in central Europe 5300 years ago. Workshop students will prepare moulds before heading out to prepare the charcoal fuelled furnace. They will then cast molten copper into the moulds and begin hammering then cleaning the axe.

Min Age:

16

Group Size:

6

Price From:

£300

"James was extremely knowledgeable and excellent working with the children. He set out a lovely display of furs and tools and talked to the children before they started knapping. He was extremely patient and the children all thoroughly enjoyed the session, everyone took away a knapped piece of flint which resembled a tool. Excellent value for money and would recommend him to other groups and schools."

BEXLEY YAC's BRANCH

 
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