Stone Age to Iron Age activity 8: prehistoric food and feasting
The class explore a mystery object, an imported Terra Rubra beaker of the kind used at feasts, which was discovered by archaeologists at the Iron Age settlement on Folkestone’s East Cliff.
The class research and take part in a prehistoric feast with food based on real Iron Age dishes.
Increased knowledge and understanding of Iron Age food, feasts and archaeology.
KS1-2 History (Folkestone in the Iron Age).
Show the class the photo of a mystery orange pot at Learn with Objects Stone Age to Iron Age 5: Terra Rubra beaker on the interactive whiteboard. Tell them it was excavated by archaeologists at Folkestone’s East Cliff. Ask the following questions to see if they can come up with some initial ideas about what it is.
- What material is it made from?
- How was it made?
- How did they make the pattern round the outside?
- What do you think it was used for?
- Is it complete?
- How do you think it got broken?
- Who do you think discovered it?
- How do you think it was stuck back together?
- When do you think it was made?
Through this discussion, introduce the children to the Iron Age, and that there was an important Iron Age Community living on the East Cliff before Folkestone was built, and that we know about their lives from the evidence they left behind.
The children research across the Learn with Objects Stone Age to Iron Age topic to find out more about this object and the Iron Age settlement.
- What did it look like?
- What kind of houses did they live in?
- How did they make their living?
- What Iron Age artefacts have archaeologists discovered?
- What do these tell us about their lives?
Set the class the challenge to find out more about Iron Age food and drink. Below are links to some resources you can use with your class.
This teacher’s pack from Canterbury Archaeological Trust provides a great introduction to the archaeology of Folkestone’s East Cliff, in the Iron Age as well as the Roman period, with lots of ideas and images to use in the classroom.
Look at this great resource from English Heritage on Prehistoric food and feasting.
There’s excellent information on Iron Age feasts here.
Read about an exciting discovery of artefacts from an Iron Age feast
And here’s some simple Iron Age recipes to try.
Role play: An Iron Age feast
Inform the class they are part of the small Iron Age community living on Folkestone’s East Cliff. Show them some images from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust teachers pack.
They have had an excellent year making and selling quern stones and have decided to celebrate with a feast.
Their task is to prepare Iron Age food, dress up in character and take part in a feast in the largest round house. They can set dress part of the classroom for this.
They also need to think of some Iron Age music and entertainment which they can take part in, when not toasting each other with imported Roman wine in their terra rubra beakers!