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The Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust News - old stories

Penycloddiau hillfort invaded!

Fearsome warriors! On the 25th and 26th September, CPAT took part in the 6th Denbighshire Walking Festival. With two days of activities with children from eight local primary schools, it was extremely hectic but lots of fun! Abi and Sophie were stationed at Nannerch village hall helping the children make helmets (left). This was one of five crafty activities, the others being face/arm painting, making clay tiles, making brooches and watching a demonstration of Iron Age weaving by a professional reenactor. As an organisation, we are now well-used to conducting outreach events. During National Archaeology Week, for example, while we might see up to 100 children throughout the day, an individual child might sit with us for 30-40 minutes colouring in and making various items. However, as this event was more structured around travel and lunch times, at the village hall we had only 15-20 minutes with each group of up to 14 children! By the end of the first day, we had figured out the best way to use our limited time, so the second day was a lot more relaxed and enjoyable.

Jeff and his captive audience - note the array of impressive helmets!

Jeff and David were stationed at the main carpark at the base of Penycloddiau hillfort giving talks (with props!) on what archaeologists do, what equipment they use and what kind of artefacts they find beneath the soil. The children (and teachers) seemed to find this most interesting and instructive, and Jeff and David found themselves bombarded with questions. After this talk the children went up the hill going back in time, meeting along the way a Victorian gamekeeper, a medieval farmer, Saxon and Dark Age Welsh warriors, and finally, at the top of the hillfort Iron Age 'Celtic' people. Staying in character, each reenactor introduced themselves and explained about their lives on the hill, giving an incredible insight into how landscapes and land use change over hundreds of years. The children, ranging in age from 7 to 11, and all seemed to really enjoy their day, and the feedback was incredibly positive.

Abi McCullough, September 2008

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