Friday, 1 May 2015

Flag Fen, and birds of prey

We went on an education visit to Flag Fen near Peterborough yesterday.  It's a Bronze Age archaeological centre, developed as a result of important finds from archaeological excavations in the 1970s.

The workshop was rather schooly, with lots of question and answer moments.  Some of it didn't appeal to my kids.  I was a little disappointed.  The material was amazing, but not presented in a particularly interesting way.

The sections that worked best were, unsurprisingly, hands on.  We handled prehistoric artifacts from the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age, and were set the task of identifying which period things had come from.  The kids really got into that.

They also enjoyed a bit of experimental archaeology, aka pot making.  They used the materials that Bronze Age people would have had access to, and used sticks, pine cones, shells etc to make patterns on their pots.  

After lunch we walked around the site, which I found interesting but the kids didn't.  They rolled down hills while I listened!

They have some ancient boats, found in 2012.  They're 3000+ years old, and it was a real privilege to see them.  They're being preserved, which is a long slow process.  Here are some rubbish photos of boats in bubble wrap or under water!

We also were able to see the wooden posts that Flag Fen is most famous for.

Finally we went into a replica roundhouse, built from the same materials that Bronze Age people would have used.

While the day wasn't a resounding success for my kids, they did enjoy some of it.  And I'm hoping that some seeds were sown about prehistoric people and how they lived.

We're going on a very hands on prehistoric workshop with Will Lord in May, so hopefully this visit was a little groundwork.  I'm also planning on going to the Chiltern Open Air Museum in July, for an Iron Age experience day.

Today we went to Camp Mohawk.  As well as the usual playing with friends action, there were owls and birds of prey.  A great day there as usual.

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