St Albans YAC caught knapping!
I have been a member of the St. Albans YAC group for a couple of years now and I have found it really fun and engaging. Recently we have had two re-enactors/replica makers join us to talk about what they do.
Flint knapping fun
In February, we were lucky to have James Dilley come to our YAC meeting. James Dilley is an expert flint knapper and visits schools and museums. He works with glass and flint and he specialises in handaxes. James was a member of YAC when he was younger!
First James talked about how he got into knapping and gave a brief summary about what he was going to do in the session. Then he showed us his flint creations and what they were before he started work on them.
After that James called me up to demonstrate how they made fire in Prehistoric times. I really enjoyed it when I made fire by spinning a wooden drill into wood to create friction and, hopefully, fire. Next he started a flint handaxe and chipped away at it so much that it was nearly half the size of it when it started. Then James worked on a glass handaxe and successfully completed it, despite the fact it snapped in half at the beginning. He told us that the flakes might have been used for knives.
I particularly liked seeing him make the glass and flint handaxes. It was fun seeing all of the beautifully made tools.
In March we were joined by my mum, Tess, who is an archaeologist. She came to talk to us about her project with Roland Williamson. Roland makes replicas for museums, and artefacts and weaponry for re-enactors. Mum documents the replicas Roland makes and they experiment with different ways to make and use them. It is important to do this because you can then work out how objects were made or even what they were used for.
First mum talked about what a replica is and that you can make a replica of most things and by using lots of different materials. She showed us a few of the moulds and replicas she and Roland had made. A couple were made of wax, a few were silicon and some were chocolate! Then she brought out a Bronze Age Sussex Loop replica and we had fun guessing what it might have been used for. We were given all sorts of different materials to work with to make our own replicas. We made torcs, Sussex Loops and many more things with these media.
This is only a snippet of what we do at the St Albans YAC meetings and I hope you have enjoyed hearing about it as much as I do taking part!
Blog by YAC member Nellie Machling (aged 10)
Over to you...
If you're a member of one of our local YACs it would be fantastic to hear what you've been up to at your club! We're always looking for brilliant blog articles like this one by Nellie – and if we publish yours here on the YAC website, you can win a magnificent mystery prize!
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