Budding time travellers of all ages are invited to a free, fun-packed, family event to celebrate the nationwide Festival of Archaeology. On Saturday 17 July, the village green at Bishops Lydeard will be transformed into a prehistoric village featuring interactive demonstrations of ancient crafts, family activities and object handling.
Under the expert guidance of archaeologists and craftspeople from Newhaven Coppice, visitors will be able to try their hand at making prehistoric pottery, woodworking and weaving; there will be demonstrations of ancient bronze casting methods; and you can even prepare and taste foods that our prehistoric ancestors would have eaten.
Throughout the day there will be the chance to learn about and handle genuine archaeological artefacts with Dr Maria Kneafsey and colleagues from the Portable Antiquities Scheme; and young archaeology buffs can learn some of the skills of excavation in a sandpit dig. There will also be a drop-in finds surgery, allowing visitors to bring along any unusual artefacts they may have found whilst out for a walk or digging their gardens, and have them identified and recorded.
Best of all, the event is entirely free. It is being organised by the Quantock Landscape Partnership Scheme, a five year project hosted by the Quantock Hills AONB and funded largely by The National Lo
ttery Heritage Fund which aims to inspire local communities to undertake a wide range of projects providing resilience and protection of the Quantock landscape.
Dan Broadbent, the scheme’s Historic Heritage Officer, said, “As we approach the end of Covid restrictions, we hope this will be a great way for people to come together in a safe, outdoor space, have some fun and learn something about the long and fascinating history and archaeology of the Quantock Hills.”
The event also marks the launch of archaeological excavations on nearby Cothelstone Hill. Dan explained, “We have a number of archaeological and heritage projects as part of the Landscape Partnership Scheme, all aimed at encouraging and helping people to better understand and engage with the Quantock landscape. The dig at Cothelstone Hill is our first excavation, which will be investigating the purpose and origins of a prehistoric earthwork which crosses the ridge of the hill.”
The Prehistoric Fun Day will be open from 10am – 4pm on Saturday 17th July, at Bishops Lydeard Village Green. Entry and all activities are free of charge.