Butser Ancient Farm 2016
On Monday 12th September, we visited Butser Ancient Farm to begin our learning about the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
When we arrived at Butser, we were greeted by a lovely lady called Lorraine who introduced us to the farm’s friendly sheep as they bleated happily while we listened to a safety talk. After this, we were taken to a Neolithic Stone Age house where Lorraine gave us a fascinating talk about life in the Stone Age as we sat around a real burning fire. The walls of the house displayed cave paintings showing Stone Age people hunting a large animal.
After the talk, we were taken outside for our first activity where we became archaeologists. We used a trowel and brush to uncover artefacts which included a wide selection of different animal bones.
Later we were taken to make ‘clunch’; a material used by people in the late Stone Age to the Iron Age to build their walls. First we had to collect pieces of chalk, before using a mallet made out of the wood from a holly tree to crush the chalk to a powder. Once we had produced enough chalk dust, we added some straw and water to make a clay like mixture before placing this onto a wattle fence. Real Stone Age to Iron Age people would even have used animal poo for this, so we were glad to be working with chalk and water!
After lunch we were taken to build our own wattle fence. Sturdy oak posts were built into the ground, and with our partners we had to weave the more flexible hazel branches in and out of the posts before pushing them down to make the fence. These fences would have been used to keep animals in, and as the base for house walls.
Our final activity of the day was chalk carving. We smeared natural green colouring from a leaf onto a larger piece of chalk before using flint as a tool to carve a symbol. Flint is a very hard and sharp stone which Stone Age people used for many different things including as a tool and as a weapon.
Overall we had a great day, and we’re excited to learn more about our topic back at school where we’ll be able to link our learning to our experiences at Butser Ancient Farm.