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16 February 2011
BBC launches 'Hands on History'

The BBC in the UK has embarked on a mammoth enterprise to try and make history come alive. A section of their website has been dedicated to this, with internal links to current and recent television series, such as 'The Normans', 'A History of Ancient Britain' and 'Turn Back Time: The High Street'. There are also short animated films illustrating aspects of ancient life such as hawking, hunting and riding the Severn Bore. But probably the most interesting aspects are the links to 'Hands on History Days Out'. These are extremely varied and cover the whole of the UK, ranging from participating in experimental archaeology in Scotland (using ancient technologies to make prehistoric food, pottery and jewellery) to a re-creation of a Bronze Age settlement and an Iron Age roundhouse in the Fens of Eastern England.
     One of the highlights of the activities in Wales in the 'Stonehenge Experience' where you can meet a team of archaeologists and help solve the mystery of how the stone circles were built, whereas, if you live in the Bristol area of the West Country, you can learn how to draw a story without words.
     Approximately 90% of the activities are about prehistory and they are programmed to occur at the academic 'half term' (from 19th. to 27th, February) and are aimed at teaching children the fun of learning history. The vast majority are in collaboration with local museums, schools and archaeology groups, with activity packs and fold-out timelines freely available from the BBC. A full list of activities and programmes can be found on the BBC website

Edited from BBC Hands on History (February 2011)

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