Experimental Archaeology Day

Our original #CUArch100 festival featured numerous alumni demonstrators to show you the ropes (pun intended!) of textile making, flint knapping, chainmaille creation, and bronze casting. Well, plans change, but we still want to give you the tools to make things at home.

Below are videos by alumni who specialise in experimental archaeology, including Sally Pointer, showing us how to make Neolithic Welsh cakes & Tudor braids, Peter Forward demonstrating how to make a bone dice & leather pouches, and Phil Parkes showing us how to make chainmaille!

Give it a go and be sure to share pictures of your attempts with #CUArch100! We expect to see lots of Neolithic Welsh cakes over the coming days!

Neolithic Britain was a different place to the Britain we know today, not least of which because they did not have access to the same foods we have today! In this video, Sally Pointer and Gareth Riseborough take you through what a Neolithic version of a Welshcake might be made of.
Let us know what you think of this ancient sweet treat!
The numerous styles of leather purses, wallets, and pouches available today all have roots in much older practices of using leather to make pouches. In this video, experimental archaeologist Peter Forward shows us how to make one of the pouches using a variety of easily attainable materials.
Have a go and let us know what you’re using your new pouch for!
In this video, conservator Phil Parkes demonstrates how to make chainmaille at home! With a few tools and a lot of patience, you too can make your own medieval PPE!
The numerous styles of leather purses, wallets, and pouches available today all have roots in much older practices of using leather to make pouches. In this video, experimental archaeologist Peter Forward shows us how to make one of the pouches using a variety of easily attainable materials.
What are you using your new pouch for?
In the Tudor period, people would use braided string to tie important documents together. In this video, Sally Pointer re-imagines the use of these braids as a way of tying together a friendship!
Follow along with Sally to make a Tudor Braid Friendship Bracelet, then show off your creations to us!
This type of braid has very ancient roots⁠—braids of this type were found on the bog bodies ‘Tollund Man’ in Denmark and ‘Old Croghan Man’ in Ireland! In this video, Louise Mumford gives us a step-by-step tutorial making your own ‘bog body braid’ with some surprising facts about its practicality.
Let’s see your bog body braid!

You can find the demonstrators on Instagram (@sallypointer, @philparkesmaille, @pforward1348), Twitter (@sallypointer, @PhilParkes4), and you can find Sally on YouTube!

1 thought on “Experimental Archaeology Day”

  1. My mother, who left school at the age of 14 went into service with a banker and his family in Lake Road East in the house now Cartref ,a care home. She became cook and I have many of her recipes. Her hand writing was nearly as bad as mine and I took me a long time to discover that her recipe for Welsh cakes (Bakestones) required not 3 tons of concrete but 3 ozs of currants. I shall try the Neolithic recipe. Makes me wonder whether the transporters of the Bluestones during their stop-over at the Caerau causewayed camp were given a supply of the cakes. Not only for their onward journey to Salisbury Plain but to feed the many at Durrington Walls. Would have made a change from pork. Will we soon see a Neolithic recipe book? Also thoroughly enjoyed the accounts of experimental Archaeology. When I next go to the local supermarket here in Joburg I will be attired in a suit of chainmaille, carrying my rand coins in a leather pouch attached to my arm with bog body braid, distributing those friendship bracelets and munching on Welsh cakes. Photos will feature in Archaeology 200! Sangomas here throw the bones to forecast the future but I could offer some dice. Haven’t enjoyed myself so much for ages. Katie, why not make it Archaeology 100 month? Even year. Now to start on the chainmaille. Les T.(ollund) Phillips

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