What are the origins of bushcraft? And what do we know today about our prehistoric ancestors who developed these skills? In the Ancient Craft zone you can look with new eyes at the present through reflecting on the past.
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 demonstrate the process of making your own flint tools. The oldest flint tools found in Britain date to around 1 million years ago, the latest around 3000 years ago so you will learn about a process used for 99.7% of human presence in Britain! It’s no secret that flintknapping is one of the hardest crafts out there due to the inconsistency of the raw material and extremely high demand for cognitive skills, hand-eye coordination and understanding of fracture mechanics.
James Dilley is one of the UK’s most well-known prehistoric craftspeople and will be setting up camp along with a crew of prehistoric craftspeople and a team of archaeologists. James’s replica artefacts produced using authentic techniques and materials are on display at Stonehenge, The British Museum and many other heritage sites. He also frequently appears on TV displaying his ancient skills via the BBC, Channel 4, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic and The Smithsonian Channel.
From cave paintings to decorated roundhouses and Roman frescoes. Romans are often thought to have introduced wall-paintings thanks to their mastery of the fresco technique and the stunning mosaics and plasters we can see in museums today. Archaeology now shows that people were decorating their houses and other items way before the Roman conquest!
Watch Pario Gallico present how to make pigments from natural earths and minerals, to use various binders to make paints (egg, casein, water), how to turn feathers, animal hair or plants into paintbrushes and demonstrate painting on wooden objects, shields, canvas… Discussing the themes of Iron Age Celtic Art, the history of colours, ancient tattooing and body art, techniques and how colourful were buildings, clothes and objects throughout history …not just shades of brown and beige!
Caroline at Pario Gallico will present how our ancestors cooked and ate, showing this to be far from the ”bland porridge” that is usually thought to have been eaten by everybody, every day! Caroline will compare Iron Age and Roman culinary traditions; suggest Romano-British cross-over recipes and draw parallels with early Saxon food.
Caroline will be giving cookery demonstrations over a fire, using replica utensils and accurate ingredients to recreate meals from various time periods. Come and look at a display of replica kitchenware, foodstuffs and dishes recreated from historical recipes and archaeological finds.
will be running workshops in prehistoric bronze casting techniques, including axes and daggers. Simon holds a degree in Archaeology, including archaeometallurgy and experimental archaeology. Over the years Simon has developed a deep appreciation for the skills and craftsmanship of our ancestors and is devoted to learning/re-discovering these ancient skills to keep them alive and pass them on to future generations.
Watch Big Beynon demonstrating historically accurate Iron Age forging. These demonstrations are delivered with energy, passion and humour and are aimed at being both entertaining and informative.
Tom, the man behind Big Beynon, obtained a degree in history and subsequently became a historic blacksmith. Tom works to showcase the life of blacksmiths from the Early Iron Age to the Victorian era, whilst also running a business making both modern and reproduction knives and metalwork.
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