Tag Archive for 'Danebury'

Banquets and Battles

For our July meeting we joined forces with the YAC groups from North Wiltshire and Southampton for a day at Danebury Hillfort.

It was quite a spectacular scene – some people had gone to a lot of trouble with their costumes.

After a good feast outside the hillfort, we all paraded around the top of the bank.

Then we had a go at various Iron Age type activities – making slingshots, painting faces, giving ourselves tattoos and making string from nettles.

Then to battle… We divided into two groups and tested out those slingshots.

But unfortunately for us, our enemies had the wind behind them!

Lucky we made those shields last month!

Dressed for Danebury

This month at YAC members took at trip back in time. Dressed as Iron Age people they went to Danebury hillfort to see what Iron Age life would have been like.

On arrival the “tribe” marched up onto the ramparts, where they were impressed by the number of banks and ditches, as well as how far they could see! Then from this viewpoint they looked down into the centre of the hillfort. Below them would have been the actual roundhouses and they could imagine them nestling there.

The tribe then climbed down into the centre of the hillfort to have a go at some Iron Age activities. First there was weaving to be learnt, then as part of their initiation into Iron Age society, tattoos were designed and drawn onto their hands and faces!

Having learnt that the average size of a roundhouse at Danebury was 10m in diameter, some members acted as human posts so that everyone could see just how big or small it would have been to live inside a roundhouse.

Then, after some fun and games, they tucked into their Iron Age picnics. These consisted mainly of chunks of bread with ham or cheese, pork pies, apples and fruit juice. Crisps and chocolate were not allowed!

After lunch they clambered back onto the ramparts and completed a full circuit of the hillfort before returning to the 21st century.

Iron Age Antics

This month at YAC members visited the Museum of the Iron Age in Andover. They were set challenges to find out more about what life was like in an Iron Age Hillfort!

They saw lots of artefacts that archaeologists had discovered from over 20 years of excavations at the Iron Age Hillfort of Danebury. There was an impressive collection of pots that had been carefully pieced back together. Members had to choose one pot to sketch. Then they had to think about what might have been used to create any patterns on the pot and most importantly what the pot might have been used for. They did this by asking themselves a series of questions such as:

How big is it?
Would it only hold enough food/liquid for one person?
Would it hold enough food/liquid for lots of people?
What shape is it?
Are there soot markings on the outside?

They also learnt about all the foods that people did and didn’t eat in the Iron Age, as well as just how much time and effort was involved in making a loaf of bread!

1: Ploughing a field
2: Planting the grains of wheat
3: Weeding and tending the field
4: Harvesting the grain
5: Threshing – beating cereal plants to separate the seeds or grains from the straw
6:Winnowing – separating the chaff (waste) from grain by fanning the stalks in the air
7: Sieving
8: Transporting the grain from the fields either to underground storage pits or above ground granaries
9: Grinding the grain to make flour
10: Mixing the flour with other ingredients such as beer or water to make a dough
11: Baking it in an oven to produce a loaf of bread!

Members were just as fascinated about death in the Iron Age and they learnt all about how the people then disposed of their dead! They thought about what might have been believed about death and how this was shown in the way they treated their ancestors. The hologram of the body of the strangled Lindow Man was also very spooky!