Ancientcraft Workshops

We’ve arranged two amazing workshops for May and September 2022 with Dr James Dilley of Ancientcraft, the UK’s leading provider in prehistoric archaeology outreach. 

James is an archaeologist and craftsman who specialises in prehistoric technologies with over 17 years of experience working with museums and heritage centres around the UK such as The British Museum and Stonehenge and alongside media companies such as the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and National Geographic.

Bronze Casting Workshop Saturday 21st May 2022

Six Places Available – £90 person

Casting a Bronze Age Palstave Axe

This workshop offers you a great opportunity to understand tool design and bronze casting techniques in Prehistory. You will cast your own replica middle Bronze Age palstave axe. These axes were developed from the earlier ‘flanged’ axe which lacked high ridges, a haft stopper and loop. Metallurgy analysis shows Welsh copper can be found in over 90% of the early palstave axes found around NW Europe. There is a real Thanet connection to these axes as many examples have been found around the Isle and several examples from the Trust’s collection will be available to view and handle.

Following a safety briefing, workshop attendees will prepare their own mould, before working the leather bellows on the charcoal fuelled furnace to melt copper and tin. They will then cast the liquid metal into their prepared moulds to produce a replica palstave axe head to take home at the end of the day. Students can then begin decorating the axe, filing off the casting flash and start cleaning the surfaces of the axe.

You will be pleased to know you keep the items you have made at the workshop.

Download a PDF of the Bronze Casting Workshop programme Here

Book your place on the Bronze Casting Workshop using the PayPal button below. You don’t need a PayPal account and card payments are accepted.

Flintknapping Workshop Saturday 17th September 2022

Ten places available – £75 per person

Discover the oldest craft in the world

How did our earliest ancestors make tools to survive through the Stone Age? Find out with experimental archaeologist James Dilley who will guide you through the process of flintknapping, making flint tools that you take home at the end of the workshop.

The oldest flint tools found in Britain date to around 1 million years ago, the latest around 3000 years ago so you will have the chance to try your hand at a process used for 99.7% of human presence in Britain!

The aim of the day will be for attendees to go home with a variety of different stone tools they have made, new flintknapping skills and a new appreciation for prehistoric technology.

Download a PDF of the Flint Knapping Workshop programme here

Book your place on the Bronze Casting Workshop using the PayPal button below. You don’t need a PayPal account and card payments are accepted.