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20Twenty Productions is excited to announce the start of the “Iron age meets the App age” project which is being funded by Heritage Lottery Fund. Below is the official press release:

Stonea iron age site to be explored!

20Twenty Productions CIC of March, in partnership with Wimblington HCC and Fenland Bushcraft, is excited to announce that the Heritage Lottery Fund has agreed to support its grant application related to the Iron Age Hill Fort at Stonea.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, a grant of £37,500. This 12-month project will explore, document and raise public awareness of the site following three previous partial excavations completed in 1959, 1980 and 1990. The most recent excavation uncovered adult bones with sword marks and the hacked skull of a child no more than three of four years old. This evidence indicates the inhabitants were under attack and trapped. This site clearly holds a gruesome secret!

Skull

The skull of the child – image courtesy Oxford Archaeology East

Tacitus, a Roman historian, writes in The Annals of a battle between the Iceni and the Roman auxiliary force under Governor Scapula in 47AD. This is the first time a British site has been recorded in a historical account. The battle site described by Tacitus matches the lay of the land at Stonea’s Iron Age Hill Fort. It is believed that Boudicca’s father in law was killed during this battle and then her husband Prasutagus became client-King under Roman rule. As an Iceni feasting site, Queen Boudicca would have presented herself at Stonea many times!

The site

The Iron Age Hill Fort site at Stonea

The project’s activities include research in to this rich and exciting history via analysis performed by Oxford Archeology East – experts in excavation and heritage management, a series of talks and presentations to community organisations and schools performed by iron age historian Amanda Carlin and three fun-packed open-day events for the public that all help raise awareness of the site, the iron age, its culture, arts and gruesome stories.

The project also brings the Iron Age in to the digital age through the creation of a mobile app that will help increase visitors to heritage sites by providing a more immersive and ‘competitive’ visitor experience. Many pupils from the Neale-Wade Academy have already expressed their desire to participate in this part of the project which is delivered by 20Twenty Productions much to the delight of Executive Principal Jason Wing who himself participated in one of the previous ‘digs’ at the Stonea site.

The project’s activities are built around three open days on the site. The first open day, scheduled for the 21st April 2017, will share the results of a geo-physical survey and 3D mapping of the site. Guests will learn how the survey is conducted, a presentation of the results and the recreation of Celtic and Roman activities. The project team believes these results will document yet further the significance of the site.

All three open days will include Celtic and Roman based activities, experiences and reenactments coordinated by Oxford Archeology East and Andrew Callaghan from Fenland Bushcraft. Expected activities include willow weaving for animal pens, learning about cave art, pre-historic food tasting, bushcraft activities, fire lighting demonstrations, wall making for huts and an attack on an Iron Age fort! Pupils from local primary and secondary schools will be in attendance as this project supports the current curriculum which features the Iron Age. The third and final open day will see the first public testing of the new app, allowing visitors from the first open day to return to test and provide feedback on how much having the app available to them amplified their enjoyment of being at the site.

Commenting on the award, Tim Nightingale Digital Director of 20Twenty Productions said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players, we have no doubt that the project will discover some exciting historical facts, provide fun and educational activities for all age groups and see the first version of the heritage app released. So many people of all ages will benefit from this funding. As such one of our first goals is to build our online presence so that the public can see our progress and engage with us.”

Notes to editors

About 20Twenty Productions CIC

20Twenty Productions CIC is a youth arts organisation. We have been using the arts to help children and young people develop skills and confidence since our formation in 2011. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook by searching ‘20Twenty Productions’. www.20twentyproductions.co.uk

About Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact Tim Nightingale at 20Twenty Productions CIC on 01354 652769 or tim@20twentyproductions.co.uk.

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