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Ancient Technology Centre, Cranborne

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The Ancient Technology Centre is poised to make its mark on the landscape later this year when it unveils its latest reconstructions…at Old Sarum and Stonehenge!  The ATC was awarded a contract earlier this year by English Heritage to reconstruct three Neolithic structures based on the archaeological evidence from the Durrington Walls excavations near Stonehenge in Wiltshire.  Currently, the prototype reconstructions are underway at a site near Old Sarum, and the final constructions will be permanently on display at the new Stonehenge Visitors Centre in early 2014. The work is being carried out by ATC staff and English Heritage volunteers, many of whom have been involved from the very beginning – coppicing and gathering materials from Garston Woods in Sixpenny Handley and additional timber from the Cranborne Estate, using traditional Stone Age flint axes and adzes. You can keep up to date with this project via the blog on our website: www.ancienttechnologycentre.co.uk .

ATC-monolith-movingAdditionally, the ATC has been extremely busy this Winter working with a record number of schools in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole, providing exciting days in the woods, on site and also as outreach programmes to schools, where we have worked with the schoolchildren to construct and thatch Iron Age roundhouses at their schools – no easy task in the bitter temperatures and wintry showers! One school also included a full-on Iron Age camp with exciting hands-on activities ranging from Iron Age food to making fire and working hot metal.  As this article goes to print, a similar programme is underway at a school in Dorchester – this time it’s a Stone Age camp complete with an epic stone drag of a 1-tonne monolith, creating a ditch and bank, cave painting and a ceremony with music and dance to be performed by the children to welcome the stone to its new home.

You can explore more about the Stone Age at our Stone Age Open Weekend on the 13th and 14th of April 2013, with lots of hands-on Stone Age activities and living history throughout the weekend.  Our new season of Storytelling and Music begins on the 4th of May and will feature internationally artists and a range of themes to keep everyone entertained. Check our website for more details of all these events: www.ancienttechnologycentre.co.uk

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