Iron Age My Story


Iron Age

Preschool history series. Rowan and her mummy Erin go on a journey of discovery to find out what life was like for a child 2,500 years ago, during a time called the Iron Age.


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This story belongs to Rowan

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and her mummy Erin.

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It's a tiny tale about how children just like you

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lived in the olden days over 2,500 years ago.

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And now it's time for Rowan and Mummy Erin

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to go on a journey of discovery.

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Together, they're going to find out what life was like

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all those years ago.

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-Can you pass me that hammer, please, Rowan?

-Yeah.

-Thank you.

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I think that's it.

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Thank you, that was a big help.

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What do you think of that?

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-Brilliant.

-Do you think the birds will like it?

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-I hope so.

-Do you know what shape that is?

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-Round.

-That's a round house.

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I know a story about a girl who lived in a round house

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and her name was Cartimandua

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and she lived in a time called the Iron Age.

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What's the Iron Age?

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Well, it's a period of time a long, long time ago

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and people discovered lots of different things, including metals.

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And one of the metals they discovered was iron

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and iron is very strong. We use it today in our tools.

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And finding the iron was the start of the Iron Age.

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Iron can be found in rocks called iron ore.

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When it's heated in a really hot oven called a furnace,

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the iron in the rock melts.

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When iron is heated, it can be shaped.

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And when it's put into cold water, it cools down, becomes hard

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and extra strong.

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Would you like to get dressed up and we can learn about Cartimandua?

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Yes!

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Rowan! Can I see your clothes?

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Wow.

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What do you think about your Iron Age clothes?

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Well, the outside feels really rough,

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but inside feels nice and cosy and fluffy.

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-Cartimandua's mummy would make her clothes for her.

-Why?

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Well, because they didn't have any shops.

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So, what she would do, she would keep sheep

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and she would make the clothes from the wool.

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-A like your hair, Mummy.

-Thank you.

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This is a clip like they had in the Iron Age.

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-Out of iron?

-Out of iron.

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Would you like to learn more about Cartimandua and the Iron Age?

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-Yes, please.

-Will we do some Iron Age poses?

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Yes.

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Now that Rowan and Mummy Erin look like people from the Iron Age,

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they're ready for the big adventure.

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But where will they go?

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Mummy Erin has brought Rowan along to the Scottish Crannog Centre.

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Some clever people called archaeologists found lots of pieces

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from the Iron Age here and they built a house to show

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how things would have looked a long time ago.

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Rowan, this round house is called a crannog.

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And "cran" means two things - it means "basket"

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and it means "young tree."

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-And do you think it looks like a basket?

-Yes.

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And what do you think it's made from?

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-Wood.

-That's right, and what's all around us?

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-Trees.

-Trees.

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And Cartimandua's daddy would have made this and he would have used

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all the trees around, and he would have used an iron axe like this one.

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Do you think your daddy could make a crannog like this?

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-No.

-No?

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Iron Age people built their crannog houses on stilts

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at the side of water.

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They were a symbol of power and building it on water

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made it safer, to stop big wild animals getting close to them

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and their animals.

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Being on the water meant the house was cooler in the summer

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and warmer in the winter.

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There were less flies and bugs on the water too.

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They thought it was the best place to be.

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Now Rowan and Mummy Erin are inside the crannog.

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Large families called tribes would live in the crannog.

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How many people do you think lived here?

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23, I think.

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I think that's a good guess, about 20.

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And in charge of those tribes, there was one person called a chief.

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Who do you think the chief would be in our family?

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-I think it would be you.

-I think that's probably right.

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Cartimandua and her family would sleep up on a platform like this,

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but at the moment, it's actually filled with bracken.

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Can you see that?

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What's bracken?

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That's fern that grows on the hills.

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And they didn't have carpet, but they'd need something

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to keep them warm and to keep the floor soft,

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so that's what's underneath.

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Is it nice and soft under your feet?

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They'd also have their animals in here

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and they'd probably live over there.

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What kinds of animals?

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They would have cows and pigs and goats and sheep.

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-Would you like to live in a crannog?

-No.

-Why not?

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Because the fire might be dangerous for kids.

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That's probably quite true.

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Mummy would like to live in one because they're very, very cosy.

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The fire's where they cooked for the whole tribe

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and it would also keep the crannog warm.

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So they would have to keep it on all the time,

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so that would have been an awful lot of work.

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-And can you see the little round stone beside the fire?

-Yes.

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That is called a pot boiler.

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And they would heat it up on the fire and then they would put it in

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the pot to warm up the water when they were cooking.

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What would they eat?

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Well, Cartimandua and her mummy were very clever farmers.

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And they would have grown wheat and barley to make bread.

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And they would find things round about, like nuts and berries.

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Would you like to try some?

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Yes, please.

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What does the crannog sit on top of?

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What's underneath us?

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-Water?

-Mm-hm, and what do we find in water?

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-Fish.

-Cartimandua and her mummy would catch fish in this.

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The fish would swim inside and they would have their fish for their tea.

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So, Cartimandua and her mummy would have bread and fish

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and brambles and nuts.

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-Would you like to eat that every day?

-No.

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What do you like to eat?

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Cheese and ham.

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This is John, and he works at the Crannog Centre.

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He's going to show Rowan and Mummy Erin how to make rope

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without any tools.

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A long time ago, people used to make their own rope.

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Can you think what they maybe made the rope from?

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-Wool?

-Wool.

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They made rope from nettles, they made rope from willow bark.

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A great many different things you could make rope from.

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and today I'm going to show you how to make rope from grass.

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You hold this side.

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And you turn round that way and I'll turn round this way.

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That's it, keep going.

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Keep going.

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Now, we do that... Look, and it twists round on itself.

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And if you keep twisting that, we'll end up by making good,

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strong rope made from grass.

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Rope was very important in the olden days.

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It helped keep the crannog together. They used it to tie up their animals.

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Can you think how we use rope today?

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It's getting long now.

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I think it might be starting to get quite strong.

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You try and pull that apart.

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-It's impossible, isn't it?

-Yeah.

-Very strong.

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Wow, what a great rope.

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John is now going to show Rowan and Mummy Erin

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how to make something else.

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I wonder what it could be.

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Look at this stone, Rowan.

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It's a perfect round hole.

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What's it for?

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Well, we can use them for, maybe, fishing weights for nets or traps.

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You can have one sitting into the ground, like that,

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and have the base of your door in there.

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And it'll let you open and close your door,

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without the base moving anywhere.

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How do you make it?

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Well, you need two different types of stone,

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both of which you'll find down on the shore.

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There's this white quartz and there's this much softer stone.

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And what we do is we knock the hard stone on to the soft stone,

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like this.

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Today it's called pecking.

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There were no schools in the Iron Age.

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Children like Cartimandua, would have learned how to do things

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by watching their parents, or other people in the tribe.

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Remember, if you needed something, you had to make it.

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How long would it take them to make this?

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Oh, it would take them two or three days to make them, at least.

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So, it must have been very important to them.

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Let's make music.

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RATTLING

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In the Iron Age, they wouldn't have had cars,

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so they would have got about in canoes.

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And this that you're sitting on here is just like the canoe

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that they would have had all that time ago.

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It looks like one big tree trunk.

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That's right. They would have used their iron axes

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to cut down the tree, and the ropes that we learned to make,

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they would have used them to pull it down to the shore.

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It looks like they scooped out the middle.

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They would have used those iron axes and it would've taken a long time,

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and they also would have made paddles for their canoe.

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And Cartimandua and her mummy and daddy would've got in their canoe

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-to go and trade things.

-What's trade?

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Trade's where they would've taken things that they had,

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like their barley, and they would've taken it to their neighbours

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who had other things that they would want and they'd swap.

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Just like I could swap my necklace for your bracelet.

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What else do you think Cartimandua and her family would've done

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in the boat?

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Explore.

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Yeah. Would you like to go exploring in the canoe?

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Yes, please!

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That looks like fun.

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Mummy Erin and John are doing a great job paddling the canoe.

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Did you like learning about the Iron Age

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and what happened a long time ago?

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Yes, I like learning about Cartimandua and the crannog.

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-And can you remember everything that we've learnt?

-Yes.

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We got dressed up in clothes like Cartimandua would've worn.

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We went to visit a crannog.

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It looks like a giant basket on stilts.

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The crannog inside looked just as special as the outside.

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We ate berries and nuts by the warm fire.

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John showed us how to make rope from grass.

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You try and pull that apart.

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I learned how to make a hole in the stone...

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without using any tools.

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Just like people from the Iron Age.

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We went exploring in a dugout canoe.

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Just like Cartimandua would've done.

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What did you enjoy the most?

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I enjoyed the canoe.

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What did you enjoy, Mummy?

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I like making things, but most of all I like spending time with you.

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-Will we have a...

-Hug!

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What a fabulous heap of fun! That was Rowan and Mummy Erin's

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tiny tale about what it was like living during the Iron Age

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over 2,500 years ago.

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Now Mummy Erin has shared this story with Rowan,

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it's time for Rowan to start her very own story.

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Do you know someone with a story to share?

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Rowan and her mummy Erin go on a journey of discovery to find out what life was like for a child 2,500 years ago, during a time called the Iron Age. Rowan and Erin dress up in clothes from that time and together they find out about a girl called Cartimandua. They visit a special house on water that Cartimandua could have lived in with her family and animals. They find out why it was called the Iron Age and that during the Iron Age if you wanted something you had to make it. They even go exploring in a dugout canoe!


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