Pupils dig deep into Pennines history

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ARCHAEOLOGY has been brought to life for schoolchildren who took a step in their ancestors’ footsteps.

Through a Pennine Prospects scheme, Pippa Rochford took children back to a time when the South Pennines were dominated by trees.

Hunter-gatherers dressed in animal skins, used stone and flint tools to kill their prey and rubbed sticks together to generate fire.

She has already trialled her workshops on pupils at Riverside School, Hebden Bridge.

Other schools are now being invited to get involved with the free workshops run by Pippa, who was a field archaeologist and researcher on Channel 4’s Time Team.

The workshops include excavating hidden artefacts, going on a moorland walk, building mini hunter-gatherer shelters from woodland material and creating material.

Pippa said: “The routes across the moors offered the hunter-gatherers a way to get from valley to valley, but, of course, it would have looked very different then with trees covering the landscape rather than open moorland.

“We use authentic tools and role play to bring the past to life and the children really engage with it.

“It’s wonderful to see how fascinated they are by the artefacts, some of which are genuine pieces from 4,000 years ago.

“They can’t believe they’re holding things that are so old,” added Pippa.

The lessons are managed by Pennine Prospects and funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Now Calderdale Council is to buy a classroom archaeology kit to ensure that the workshops run long after the project has ended.

“It means there’s continuity to this work and that’s our ultimate goal. We’re linking the children with their landscape and heritage and it’s very exciting for them when they discover all this history on their doorstep.”

For more information, call Pennine Prospects on 01422 847612.