Stanwick Lake Bronze Age replica log boats ready to launch

Home UK News Stanwick Lake Bronze Age replica log boats ready to launch
Stanwick Lake Bronze Age replica log boats ready to launch

Katy Prickett,BBC News, Northamptonshire

Rockingham Forest Trust A male volunteer on the left and James Dilley on the right fitting a transom board to the end of one of the log boatsRockingham Forest Trust

Experimental archaeologist James Dilley (right) helped guide the volunteers through the project

Two Bronze Age-style log boats are ready to float after a team of volunteers completed their build using replica tools and fire.

The project is part of a £250,000 Heritage Lottery project to connect Stanwick Lakes, Northamptonshire, with its ancient past.

Heritage co-ordinator Nadia Norman said: “Everything has been done true to the Bronze Age era, from the tools they used to how the boats would have been piloted.”

The prehistoric vessels are due to be launched at an event on 21 July.

Rockingham Forest Trust A Bronze Age replica tool with a wooden handle resting on the logRockingham Forest Trust

Before they began, they cast their own replica tools using existing axes as templates, taking the heads home to whittle the wooden handles

Rockingham Forest Trust Three men using hand tools while carving a log into a boatRockingham Forest Trust

The only methods used on the boat build were those known to be available in the Bronze Age

“Everything’s been done the hard way, so this is a huge celebration of these efforts,” Ms Norman added.

The team of 10 spent more than 700 hours creating the boats from a fallen lime tree donated by Boughton House, near Kettering.

But before they could start, they created their own Bronze Age tools guided by experimental archaeologist James Dilley from AncientCraft.

The team experimented with different carving and chiselling techniques and discovered fire was also an effective way to carve out the inside of the boat.

Rockingham Forest Trust Nadia Norman looking at the camera with the nature reserve behind herRockingham Forest Trust

Nadia Norman said she is looking forward to “showcasing the Herculean efforts of our volunteers and putting their creations to the test”

Rockingham Forest Trust A log with a hollow depression and flames and ash as it is being given a controlled burnRockingham Forest Trust

Fire was used to begin start hollowing out one of the logs, which was then finished off with tools

Rockingham Forest Trust A view of a log from its far end up its chiselled middle towards a man working on carving it outRockingham Forest Trust

The boats’ maiden voyage will take place at an event at Stanwick Lakes on 21 July

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