Prehistoric "Pop-Up" Demonstrations:

  • Museums or Heritage Centres
  • Local History Society events
  • Archaeology outreach events
  • Bushcraft or County shows
  • Educational or Corporate events
  • Themed entertainment/parties/fancy dress

With a regular tapping of stones and antlers, it really does attract attention. Demonstrations worked well with a "Just drop-by/No booking required" (Prehistoric Pop-Up) approach or at large events where visitors are on the move, stopping occasionally to watch an activity.

Prehistoric Lectures / Workshops:

  • Universities & Sixth Form Colleges
  • Archaeology Groups
  • Local History Societies
  • Museums / Heritage Centres adults or children clubs
  • YACs
  • Private tuition
  • Workshop Gallery

A fascinating way to gain an insight to the ancient past, by learning techniques not practiced for thousands of years and discussing the archaeological evidence. Student groups are small (typically around 8-10) to ensure plenty of one-to-one tutoring and everyone will make at least one lithic tool to take home. All equipment and flint will be provided on the day (a primary focus is on safety, so all students will be required to wear approved PPE - safety glasses and gloves).

10 reasons to choose Ancientcraft:

  1. Founded in 2009, Ancientcraft specialises exclusively in prehistory
  2. With over ten years practical experience and over five years public outreach
  3. Unique combination of current academic knowledge and prehistoric practical skills
  4. First-hand experience of many European prehistoric archaeological sites
  5. Extensive range of clients, including national institutes (BBC; Time Team; English Heritage; National Geographic; Historic Environment Service of the Welsh Government (CADW); Channel Four) plus many schools, museums, heritage centres and children's clubs
  6. Ancientcraft work exhibited in many national museum / heritage centre displays, handling kits and private collections
  7. On-going Archaeology research (PhD) from one of the leading centres for the study of prehistoric archaeology in Europe - University of Southampton
  8. Authentic and replica prehistoric artefacts to display and handle (most replica items made by Ancientcraft)
  9. CRB checked, Insured and First Aid trained
  10. @AncientcraftUK provides a daily twitter-feed of all the very latest prehistoric news

Still not sure........ see what people say about Ancientcraft >>

MUSEUMS / HERITAGE CENTRES / SOCIETIES

"We have no archaeologist on the staff so in 2005 James instigated and organised the annual Archaeology Family Fun Event Days to celebrate Archaeology Week at this museum for several years until he went to university. He was also a co-founder and leader of a new young archaeologists? group, the Royston Time Trackers, sharing his skills every month in the museum with children aged from 7 -14 years. His skills, extensive knowledge and passion for sharing and demonstrating ancient crafts, particularly flint knapping, have stimulated a lasting interest in archaeological crafts for many young people in this town and elsewhere."

Royston & District Museum

"Through my experience of working with James at West Stow over the last three years I know him to be a very talented flint-knapper, an excellent trainer and a person of great maturity for someone so young. He regularly teaches and demonstrates flint-knapping in our reconstructed Anglo-Saxon Village and I have found him to have the exceptional qualities needed to engage learners of all ages and abilities. His understanding, quiet manner, patience and modesty, combined with his knowledge and passion for the craft, enable him to pass on his skills in an accessible and effective way, We have received only positive feedback from our visitors, including several trainees who have said that James has given them the confidence to learn and achieve, and that he has inspired them to persevere and to want to learn more. He also ran our Young Archaeologists Club flint-knapping workshop, teaching children together with their group leaders and family members. This was very successful and was certainly a test of the quality of James' teaching. Some young people in the group have additional needs, but everyone achieved a working flint to take home and it was a very rewarding experience for all of us. As one child said 'it was really brilliant'."

West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village

"It was a real pleasure to welcome James to Hertford Museum.  His flint knapping demonstrations made the craft look effortless and easy (another story when actually doing it I am sure)!  The objects, equipment and knowledge James brought along are proof that we would not hesitate to book James again in the future."

Hertford Museum

"The event day got a lot of positive feedback: 'Brill' was used quite a lot, 'Fab event, really enjoyed visit' ."

"Thank you for a fantastic event day; it was thoroughly enjoyed by all our visitors and staff.  The equipment and demonstrations were fascinating and totally accessible; everybody left knowing a lot more about flintknapping and having had a great time.  Thank you, James."

Chesterfield Museum

"Many thanks for the demonstration in flintknapping you gave our members. It was very enjoyable, entertaining and educational. The array of items for display were very interesting."

Essex Society for Archaeology & History

"A huge thank you to our fantastic tutors on the flint workshop: Jon Cotton & James Dilley"

"Well that was one of the funnest & most informative days for a while. Prehistoric flints 101 thanks to @ThamesDiscovery

Thames Discovery Programme

"Thank you so much for the flints. The kids are going to love them" 

Headstone Manor & Museum

"I really enjoyed the Flint knife making session, as it’s the first time I’m dealing with that kind of work! After that session, it became easier to explain to visitors the Neolithic techniques – as I have been using some of them!! I especially enjoy telling visitors about the 'Neolithic glue', a mixture between pine resin, beeswax and charcoal. It is nice sharing that kind of detail about the Neolithic Life. "

“It was easily the most enjoyable course we’ve been on so far!  thank you so much!"

Stonehenge Volunteers

"Flintknapping is really addictive!"

Wiltshire Museum

"Just wanted to say a massive thank you for all yours efforts on Friday & Saturday. Muriel sent me a very enthusiastic email saying the school pupils were enthralled, and went off to google Otzi as soon as they got back to school – but seemingly you are more impressive than he is! Apparently one of Saturday’s young visitors went home and made an axe and tried to chop down a tree in the garden (unsuccessfully, I hope). Muriel also said that you seemingly didn’t draw breath for the whole of Saturday, so thank you for your energy – I know how exhausting that can be! This was a really unique event in Caithness, so thanks so much for making sure it was a resounding success."

“What a great introduction to our summer of Bronze Age discovery. Best moment for me was the young visitors trying on the “Iceman’s” deer skin boots lined with dried grass and seeing how cosy they were. And Otzi’s back pack whose style hasn’t been bettered since the bronze age. Amazing. Can’t wait for the next activities.”

Castlehill Heritage Centre

YACS

"I'd like to thank you again for travelling all that way to run the session for Canterbury YAC.  The YACs really enjoyed it, and you presented the session in a fun and informative way. It was great to see the various tools being knapped from scratch, which I think gave the YACs a better understanding of how flint tools are made. We were all impressed by your initiative to set up your Ancient Crafts company, and wish you all the best in the future."

Canterbury YACs Branch

"Many thanks for showing our YAC's (and leaders) how to make flint tools, we all really enjoyed the day and many of the members are hooked now on flint knapping. I'm sure the day will stay with them for a long time. You pitched the teaching at just the right level and showed our young people how to make their own tools in ways they understood. Thank you very much and we look forward to having another session in the summer for the YAC members who missed out this time"

Bury St. Edmunds YACs Branch

"James came to the Bexley YAC. He was extremely knowledgeable and excellent 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 YACs Branch

"Huge thanks to all our kids, parents, speakers and YAC helpers for such a great day"

YAC / Prehistoric Society Conference 2015

GENERAL PUBLIC FEEDBACK

"Great to meet you at Lee Valley. Thanks for showing me how to make fire and letting me have a go. Great teacher" > Stuart B.

"I learnt a lot about Stone Age and making things" > Anna (Royston)

"It was really good and the helpers were really nice" > Hannah (Bassingbourn)

"Fantastic experience of all ages including adults" > James (Stanton)

"Very good especially for the little one's" > Lily (Royston)

"Excellent afternoon. Very helpful and informative" > Charlotte (Letchworth)

"Very well organised - would love to come to a similar event if you ever have one again" > Anne (Royston)

WORKSHOPS

"Thanks for an insightful workshop" > Millie (Exeter University)

"He did the workshop here & we got keep to everything we made - really fab experience! Definitely worth doing! [James] bought bows, arrows & atlatl as well - great guy & very interesting. Recommend him! :)" > Minibeast Mayhem (Swindon)

"James was helpful and very interactive. A good fellow" > Mark W. (Bury St. Edmunds)

"Really good day" > Lee S. (Chelmsford)

"Very good - really helped understanding flints" > Mark F.

"Great fun - learnt a lot. Friendly helpful tuition " > Cathy B .

"Very enjoyable" > Glenn M.

"Much help and good information on the event - Thank You" > Robert F.

"Very good and informative. Great fun and all the help you needed - Very very good" > Graham F.

"Really helpful in knowing where to hit the flint to shape it " > Toni P.

"Very interesting and informative guide " > Luke F.

"Very informative - really made us appreciate the skill of early people. Background knowledge was excellent" > Paul & Kate D. (Hockley)

"Really interesting and enjoyed it " > Alex W. (West Stow)

GENERAL SALES

Thank you for my lovely box of goodies – with some added surprises. The kids are going to especially love the paleolithic axe. > Handling tool set for verulamium museum

This afternoon I received your hand axe in good order. It's beautiful, exactly what I wanted. I am very happy with it. It was nice doing business with you.

Excellent items and service, highly recommended seller. Many thanks.

Good reproduction, recommended seller

Lovely item, received well packed in really fast time - thanks

wow! Best quality!!! Fast shipping and carefully packed! 100 % satisfied!

WOW! Received today your ovate handaxe today great, well made thanks a bunch. Well received - I am very pleased - Will be in touch soon for arrow heads and another item soon. Thanks again

 

 


How a Prehistoric Living History/Demonstration could work at your Event

  • Demonstrations would be booked for full day (up to 7 hours)
  • Generally each knapping session would last around 30-45 minutes, comprising:
    • Brief introduction of the session; the flint and how it would have been mined and used; some examples of where stone age lithics were found
    • Knapping of flint modules into replica prehistoric tools
    • Question and answer during and after knapping
  • Knapping sessions can be interlaced with talks on all things prehistoric e.g. artwork, archaeological sites, dwellings, food, Shamanism
  • Please read Terms and Conditions and Services (for prices & service codes)

What could be on display

Stone Age living history demo

What I will need

  • Access:
    • Full postal address of location
    • Full vehicle access to the location for unloading & loading (as flint nodules are very heavy)
    • Onsite parking
    • Seating for myself & the audience
  • Location Area:
    • For the (i) flintknapping demo, I will need an area of no less than 3-4 square metres (ideally outdoors or in a well ventilated room)
    • For the (i) flintknapping demo (ii) display of prehistoric artefacts and replica items, I will need an area of no less than 5-6 square metres (ideally outdoors or in a well ventilated room)
    • For the (i) flintknapping demo (ii) display of prehistoric artefacts and replica items (iii) Stone Age dwelling, I will need an area of no less than 8-10 square metres (ideally outdoors or in a well ventilated room)
    • Once set up, it will not be possible to relocate or temporarily dismantle the display (eg to allow the space to be used for another activity)
  • Time:
    • Agreed start and end time
    • For the (i) flintknapping demo, I will need around 20 minutes preparation/set-up time and around the same to vacate the location
    • For the (i) flintknapping demo (ii) display of prehistoric artefacts and replica items, I will need around 45 minutes preparation/set-up time and around the same to vacate the location
    • For the (i) flintknapping demo (ii) display of prehistoric artefacts and replica items (iii) Stone Age dwelling, I will need around 90 minutes preparation/set-up time and around the same to vacate the location
    • NOTE - Preparation time will not be counted against agreed demo duration. Inclusion of the Stone Age dwelling is weather dependent for outdoor events
  • Special Attention:
    • Although I will always do my best to accommodate any special requests for flintknapping styles, prehistoric periods or tool manufacture, this needs to be discussed during booking
    • Replica ancient items will be on display, including real animal parts in prehistoric context (e.g. teeth & bones; hides; bird wings) - these are for educational purposes only and are not intended to offend or upset the audience. If you feel these are not appropriate or are concerned about allergies, please discuss during booking.
    • All demonstrations that involve "fire" inside use an electric flame-effect light that generates minimal heat and no fumes, so can be used safely

Risk Assessment

  • I can provide a sample RISK ASSESSMENT form for you to use >> Click Here
  • I am CRB checked, First Aid trained and insured
  • Prehistoric/Flintknapping Demonstration:
    • Safety glasses will be provided for the audience less that 3m away from the flintknapping activity
    • During demonstrations the audience will not be invited to participate in flintknapping due to the safety aspects of the craft
    • All flintknapping will be performed on a large tarpaulin, so that any flint fakes will be quickly removed from the location once the session is complete and disposed of correctly
  • It is the organisers responsibility to:
    • Provide additional trained first aiders and kit (as required by your event)
    • Have details of the nearest A&E hospital (as required by your event)
    • Comply with any HSE checks/restrictions (as required by your Local Authority and event)
    • Provide promotional advertising/posters
    • Provide staff to supervise any audience (and have appropriate Adult:Child supervision)

How a Prehistoric Workshop could work at your Event

  • Each Flintknapping workshop would comprise:
    • Brief introduction of the session
    • Explanation (simple or detailed) of flint and how it would have been mined and used; some examples of where stone age lithics were found
    • Flintknapping demonstration
    • Introduction to tools (hard hammer & soft antler hammer); how to hold and use them; guidance on angles and striking techniques
    • Group tuition
    • One-to-one guidance to making your own flint tool
    • Each Workshop session can be booked for half day (up to 2-3 hours) or could cover a whole day
  • Each Bronze & Copper Casting workshop would comprise:
    • Introduction of the session including safety briefing
    • Explanation of metal working practices in the Bronze Age
    • Group tuition on preparing moulds and the furance
    • Guidance on working the bellows, checking the furnace, adding fuel and finally removing the crucible to pour metal
    • Opening of moulds and removal of replica artefact
    • Brief tuition on cleaning and hafting artefact (if necessary)
    • Each Workshop session would normally be booked for a full day (up to 5 hours)
  • Each Copper Smelting workshop would comprise:
    • Introduction of the session including safety briefing
    • Explanation of metal extraction practices in the Bronze Age
    • Basic demonstration to show proceedure of smelting copper and introduction to equipment
    • Group tuition on preparing the ore, charcoal and crucible as well as using the bellows
    • Guidance on working the bellows, checking the furnace, adding fuel and finally removing the crucible to pour molten copper
    • Each Workshop session would normally be booked for a full day (up to 5 hours)
  • Each Prehistoric Arrow workshop would comprise:
    • Brief introduction of the session
    • Explanation of the composition of an arrow: flint arrowhead; shaft; fletchings
    • Group tuition
    • One-to-one guidance to making your own flint arrowhead
    • Each Workshop session would normally be booked for a full day (up to 5 hours)
  • please read Terms & Conditions and Services (for prices & service codes)

What I will need

  • Access:
    • Full postal address of location
    • Full vehicle access to the location for unloading & loading (as flint nodules and equipment are very heavy)
    • Onsite parking (including details of any access height restrictions)
    • Seating for myself & the students
  • Location Area:
    • For the flintknapping workshop I will need an area of no less than 6 square metres ideally outdoors (or in a well ventilated room)
    • For the prehistoric arrow workshop I will need an outside area to light a small fire or use a camping stove(for shaft straightening)
    • For metal working workshops I will need an outside area of no less than 6 square metres. The area will also need to be barriered or with clear warning signs for other site visitors. The workshop can be conducted on hard or soft ground (please specify on booking).
    • Once set up, it will not be possible to relocate or temporarily dismantle the display (eg to allow the space to be used for another activity)
  • Time:
    • Agreed start and end time
    • For the workshops I will need around 30 minutes preparation/set-up time and around the same to vacate the location
    • NOTE - Preparation time will not be counted against agreed workshop duration
  • Special Attention:
    • A maximum of 10 students will be allowed per flintknapping workshop, 6 students per metal working workshop (contact me for larger group requirements) NOTE: Ancientcraft cannot guarantee sufficient materials (e.g. flint nodules, knapping tools, protective glasses/gloves) will be available on the day should the student count exceed maximum number, unless this is agreed in advance
    • Minimum age of students is 12 years old for flintknapping- please discuss during booking if you have younger students who want to try flintknapping
    • Minimum age of students is 16 years old for metal working
    • Although I will always do my best to accommodate any special requests for flintknapping styles, prehistoric periods or tool manufacture, this needs to be discussed during booking
    • Workshops will not typically be performed in prehistoric costume (discuss during booking)
    • Although an audience can be permitted to watch the workshop, they will not be allowed to participate and must be a minimum of 3m away from the students/participants

Teaching the Southampton Archaeology undergrads the art of palaeolithic butchery using their own flint tools on cow bones

Risk Assessment

  • I can provide a sample:
    • Flintknapping RISK ASSESSMENT form for you to use >> Click Here
    • Casting/smelting RISK ASSESSMENT form for you to use >> Click Here
  • I am CRB checked, First Aid trained and insured
  • Flintknapping Workshop:
    • For pre-arranged workshops Ancientcraft will supply appropriate PPE (safety glasses and leather gloves) which must be worn
    • Students/participants are encouraged to wear old clothing (e.g. jeans) and shoes to protect themselves from (heavy) flint nodules/flakes and must be informed by the event organiser of the conditions - the event will typically be outdoors and safety equipment to be worn
    • All flint will be provided and students/participants may keep what they make
    • All flintknapping will be performed on a large tarpaulin, so that any flint fakes will be quickly removed from the location once the session is complete and disposed of correctly
  • It is the organisers responsibility to:
    • Provide additional trained first aiders and kit (as required by your event)
    • Have details of the nearest A&E hospital (as required by your event)
    • Comply with any HSE checks/restrictions (as required by your Local Authority and event)
    • Provide promotional advertising/posters
    • Provide staff to supervise any audience (and have appropriate Adult:Child supervision)
workshop in Jersey 2014

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