Whitehawk Wonders: Family Archaeology Day

Illustration by Ian Dennis
Illustration by Ian Dennis

If the recent post about the museum’s prehistoric collections has whetted your appetite to delve a little further and play Indiana Jones for the day, here’s your chance to get more involved.

Join us on Saturday 31 January for a Family Archaeology Day, when you can roll your sleeves up and take part in a variety of fun activities for all ages. Visitors can handle genuine items unearthed from recent archaeological digs, and even take part in a mock excavation, learning some of the basic skills involved.

You’ll also get to learn about some of the flora and fauna found across the South Downs over the millennia and see some ancient arts and crafts in action. Learn how our ancestors knapped flint to fashion tools and weapons, and then try your hand at a number of activities yourself, from making a Neolithic pot to spinning wool.

Meet the Whitehawk Dig team of volunteers and discover more about their work, while they display various Stone Age items from the camp. The Whitehawk site is one of Britain’s earliest known farming communities, with its 5,500 year-old ritual monument predating Stonehenge by some 500 years.

Whitehawk Items

Here are just a few items to give you a taste of what to expect from Whitehawk.

The Neolithic period was a time of tremendous change which saw us moving from simple nomadic hunter gathering to a more pastoral, settled way of life, keeping domestic animals, as this ‘ox crown’ shows us.

Whitehawk ox crown

Of course some finds are more enigmatic than others. This scored chalk block is one such example. It was clearly carefully designed with some purpose in mind, but no one knows precisely what!

Whitehawk chalkboard

Perhaps you can help us get to the bottom of such mysteries — who knows what you might find?

This event is free and you can drop in at any time, from 10am to 4pm.

You can also follow the Whitehawk Dig’s progress on this dedicated tumblr about the project’s latest finds.

Saturday 31st January, 10am – 4pm
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
Free admission
Tel: 03000 290900

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