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Mammoth fun in the Ice Age

National Archaeology Week 2008 is under way at National Museum Wales, and at three NMW sites, visitors have been getting arty like cave-dwellers, writing like Romans, helping to sort out a medieval pottery's rejects and witnessing the technology that put the Iron into the Iron Age.

And all in the first five days!

At National Museum Cardiff, families joined Ken Brassil and  Bethan Jones for Cave Art workshops.

Bethan:

"The cave art weekend was a great success. The visitors became their very own cave men and women for the weekend, exploring the new Origins gallery, studying traditional cave paintings and the animals before stepping back through time in to our Evolution of Wales exhibition, where they were able to experience what life may have been like in a damp dark cave....

The families sketched the animals found around that time before heading back to the present to create their art from the sketches they'd made. The children were able to use and experience similar materials to those their ancestors would have used: stone, wood and even bones. I think using the bones to draw with was everyone's favourite, especially mine!

 A really fun-packed weekend. I was very impressed with the amount of sculpture made as well as drawings. Good job every one, including the parents and grandparents, for getting stuck in!"

Ken:

"National Archaeology Week kicked off in Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Cardiff with the latest take on Ice Age art created by seriously enthusiastic families of South Walians and super visitors from Quebec City too.

We explored the Palaeolithic zone of the new archaeology galleries and sought out the robotic mammoths in the Evolution of Wales Gallery as catalysts for making clay figures ... to take home.

The mini figures we created made up for the (almost total) absence of Ice Age art from Wales....Mini mammoths were the most popular creation. Some of the seniors modelled hybrid rhino-mammoths, even a cold loving turtle. One family brought their teddy bear mascot to keep company with our museum specimen bear-skull from Tian Shan, China!

If the participants had decided not to take their animals home, then we would need to add two new cases to our new archaeology gallery to accommodate Ice Age Art: Class of 2008 .... Congratulations to you artist-archaeologists....

 

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