This page is intended to give you a feel of the Stone Age to Iron Age Day. In preparation for each school visit, we will ensure that the structure of the day fits your needs and those of your pupils.
Travels through Time
In this introductory session the whole group participates in the timeline based activity. Using a scaled timeline, the children move through human history in Britain and meet prehistoric people along the way. Children will see the clothing, tools and pottery used by our ancestors and begin to appreciate the enormous span of the chronology.
For this workshop the children work in class sized groups on a rotation. Here the children consider their own houses and compare the basic need for shelter and safety to modern homes. The children then explore a series of models of prehistoric houses, based on archaeological finds and note the progression of building techniques. Finally having reviewed evidence from the Neolithic village at Skara Brae, they design some Neolithic furniture for their own home.
Hunting and Farming
For this workshop the children work in class sized groups on a rotation. The children consider the changing prey foods which would have been hunted by humans in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic periods. They try their hand at the throwing spear, the throwing stick and the new technology, bows and arrows, for hunting smaller game.
Following this hunting focus, the children look at the development in axe technology from the Neolithic to the Iron Age. They consider which materials and designs came first and which later.
Life at Home
For this workshop, the children work in class-sized groups on a rotation. The children conisider two essential tasks in the prehistoric home: grinding flour to make bread and weaving cloth for clothes. The children experience, first hand, the back breaking work of grinding grain using a saddle quern, followed by the 'revolutionary' rotary quern, which sped up the process immensely. This breakthrough machinery must have been as lifechanging for our ancestors as the refridgerator was to the children's great grandparents' generation.
Following this, the children try their hand at drop spinning and then design a cloth pattern for a high status Iron Age family.
Life and Death
In this final section of the day, the children gather together again as we consider the development of burial practice through Prehistory. We track the various demises of the 'Bear Tribe' and bury them with a selection of grave goods, in a variety of barrows, mounds and cairns. The children are physically involved in forming the shapes of the various burial mounds, in order to give them a real appreciation of the remaining Prehistoric burial sites in our country.
A further aim for this closing section of the day is to reinforce the shared humanity of our ancestors. They felt the loves and loses of human experience in the same way we do today. They tried to make sense of the world as they experienced it, just as we do.