Stone, Bronze and Iron Age Britain

Get ready to discover life in the Stone, Bronze and Iron Age in this hands-on interactive workshop. Pupils have the opportunity to look at and touch replica objects. Using their powers of deduction, pupils will become junior museum archaeologists to discover what the objects reveal about the people who lived in Britain between about 11,000 and 2000 years ago.

Please be aware that one of the handling objects used in this session is real animal fur. We ask teachers to check if their pupils have any allergies/objections to this material and to inform us prior to your visit.

Workshop details

During the workshop pupils will be able to touch objects including a flint axe that was made by early humans up to 500,000 years ago, a polished axe head from the Neolithic period (more than 4000 years old), farming and fishing tools made from bone and deer antler, flint arrow heads, stone, bronze and iron axe heads, bone sewing needles, a stone quern that was made during the Bronze Age (more than 2500 years old), and many more objects to help pupils discover everyday life during these periods.

Your class will be divided into four smaller groups to take on the role of archaeologists, as they explore and handle the objects to complete activities. This will also give the unique opportunity for pupils to gain insight into museum and history careers and quiz our facilitators about their career journeys!

The workshop will cover four main topics focusing on our ancestors in Britain during the:

  • Mesolithic period (middle stone age): c9,000 - c6,000 years ago. People were hunting and gathering their food and living in the wild.
  • Neolithic period (new stone age): c6000 - c4500 years ago. About 6000 years ago people began to farm and cultivate crops as well as continuing to hunt and gather food.
  • Bronze Age: c4500 - c2700 years ago. Life became more settled, and the look of the landscape changed as people cleared the forests around their farmsteads, grazing animals and growing crops.
  • Iron Age: from about c2800 - c2000 years ago. Iron began to be used alongside bronze and stone. 

Practical information for your visit

We need adult help to ensure the pupils have the best possible experience and to ensure the safety of the artefacts. For this reason you must bring at least four adults for this session. If you don’t bring this ratio of adults we may still be able to run the session but it won’t unfortunately involve the same level of interactivity for the young people.

Please be aware that one of the handling objects used in this session is real animal fur. We ask teachers to check if their pupils have any allergies or objections to this material and to inform us prior to your visit.

Curriculum links

History:

  • Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age.
  • Late Neolithic hunter-gatherers and early farmers.
  • Bronze Age religion, technology, and travel.
  • Iron Age - farming, art, and culture.
  • Inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.
  • Understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different cultures, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time.
  • Understand chronological narrative, from the earliest times to the present day: how people’s lives have shaped this nation and how Britain has influenced and been influenced by the wider world.
  • Understand the methods of historical enquiry, including how evidence is used rigorously to make historical claims, and discern how and why contrasting arguments and interpretations of the past have been constructed.

SMSC - Fundamental British Values

Individual liberty:

  • Through the participative approach in the session individual liberty is promoted by enabling students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence. This also promotes mutual respect as children listen to and begin to respect each others comments.
  • During discussion about differing jobs and who did them children are encouraged to consider whether they would like to do these jobs and to reflect which are fair or not, thus promoting their understanding of individual liberty.

Mutual respect and tolerance:

  • By comparing their own lives to those of people in the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages children develop respect for different ways of living and the means by which we have developed the resources we have available today.
  • By understanding the Museum’s rules about how to handle ancient artefacts tolerance and respect are encouraged.

Social skills:  

  • Students develop their social skills as they work together in role play activities to become a cave dweller, a farm labourer or a tool maker.

Gatsby benchmarks

  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with employers and employees

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Pupils will:

  • develop their chronological knowledge and understanding of British and local history
  • note connections, contrasts and trends over time.
  • understand  characteristic features of the periods and societies studied, including the ideas, beliefs, attitudes and experiences of men, women and children in the past.
  • understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Skills

Pupils will:

  • recognise and identify artefacts used in the sessions and some of the evidence they reveal about life in the past.
  • begin to recognise that the past is represented and interpreted in different ways, and to give reasons for this.
  • begin to recall, select and organise historical information.
  • develop the use of appropriate historical terms.
  • address and devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity and difference, and significance.
  • give reasoned answers backed up by evidence.
  • improve their speaking and listening skills in a group discussion context.

Concepts

Pupils will:

  • be introduced to the work of an archaeologist.
  • be introduced to the work of curators and the reasons why the museum has a collection of objects from the past.
  • appreciate that some of the objects they are working with are thousands of years old and have to be treated with respect.
  • realise why we use replicas, that have been made in the same way as the ancient items, for a handling workshop.
  • understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Attitudes

Pupils will

  • appreciate that the objects they are working with are either thousands of years old or are modern replicas and that all objects have to be treated with respect.
  • see the Museum of Liverpool as a resource for historical research to help understand the ancient world.