Isles of Scilly - AONB

A Bronze Age Bonanza in Scilly

The Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Staff Team in partnership with the Council of the Isles of Scilly’s Children’s Services Team, helped inspire 17 young people between the 6th-8th August 2013, as they delved into Scilly’s rich Bronze Age Heritage.

Somerset based archaeologist Marc Cox, and heritage interpretation officer Katie Findlay from the Blackdown Hills AONB, led the three day’s activities with help from the Scilly AONB Staff Team.

During day one, the young people learnt about ‘Community Living in the Bronze Age’ with a visit to Halangy Down on St Mary’s. The group reinacted characters from the Bronze Age who would have been fundamental to community living in Scilly, such as hunters and gatherers, fisherman, livestock keepers and even babysitters!

On day two the Bronze Age group colonised the Island of Gugh, off St Agnes. Here the group met with St Agnes artist Emma Eberlein, and local historian Rachel Lewin as they casted Bronze Age arrow head replicas out of metal. Bob Dawson from the Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project also joined the group to explain how seabirds would have provided a vital food resource for people living in Scilly during the Bronze Age.

On day three the group got hands-on and up-close to Bronze Age artefacts at the Buzza Bronze Age Entrance Grave. The group also learnt about death in the Bronze Age and why there are so many Bronze Age Entrance Graves in Scilly. During the afternoon the group made Bronze Age tribal jewellery and burial pots, which they could take home. The group also took part in a ‘make your own entrance grave competition’ on Porthcressa Beach. All entries were fantastic!

Rebecca Steggles from the AONB Staff Team said ‘The Bronze Age Bonanza Project has helped engage young people with their local environment and heritage. Scilly’s Bronze Age heritage is exceptionally rich – a past which has helped shape the landscape and the communities we see in Scilly today’.

Helen McGuinness from the Council of the Isles of the Scilly Children’s Services Team says, ‘The feedback from the young people who took part in this activity was really positive-they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and are looking for more of the same in the future.  It is fantastic that young people were able to have a hands-on learning experience, outdoors in their own environment’.

A young person who took part in the Bronze Age project said ‘I really enjoyed making the Bronze Age arrow heads and taking part in the Bronze Age Entrance Grave Competition’ another participant said ‘We learnt loads! We learnt that there is a Bronze Age Village eroding out from cliffs on St Mary’s and that Scilly’s archaeology is really important’

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