Archaeology and facial reconstruction

Meet your Ancestors!

Dig up a bog body, excavate a Neolithic hearth, and rebuild the faces of your ancestors!

This activity is designed to run either as a stand-alone activity, or alongside our usual stone age workshops.

The conclusions archaeologists come to can often seem far fetched, when you seen the meagre clues they have based their theories on...


But  if you can understand HOW they arrived at their ideas,  the dry dusty collections of things in museums come alive, and rather than just reading the little captions, you can see the story it tells, use your imagination to paint a picture of the past that is probably not far wrong. Isn't that a kind of time travel in itself?

Through realistic archaeological excavations, the children can learn not only to excavate the delicate and fragmentary remains of the stone age, but interpret what they see and understand how archaeologists and historians can paint such a vivid picture of the past.

Using our selection of models ( a mixture of Neanderthal, and modern human bones), the children can also have a go at rebuilding the skulls, and faces of of their ancestors, learning the science of rebuilding the muscles of the ancient people, then the skin, and finally giving them character with hair  and other details. 

There is scope for linking to art with both of these activities, as well as maths.  All real excavations have to be plotted  and drawn in great detail before anything can be removed. And what better way to understand how to draw a face than to get into the nitty gritty of its physical form by sculpting one with the skull as a guide?