Making arrows during Archeoweek 2019
The South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology offered a summer activity for the very first time during the last holiday week. 17 children from ages 8-12 built their very own copy of a Neolithic arrow with help from the museum’s archaeologists and cultural mediators. In this way, the children independently came into contact with some prehistoric work techniques. During their field trip to the Archeopark in Schnalstal Valley, everyone could test their skill in handling a bow and arrow. The response from both children and parents was very positive; that’s why an Archeoweek (with a new program) will take place again next year.
1st Day: Lighting a fire with flint, pyrite, and tinder fungus isn’t very easy.
2nd Day: Looking for raw materials to make an arrow. In Colle di Bolzano/Kohlern above Bolzano we are looking for birch bark, wayfaring tree, and nettles. It’s already easier to start a fire now. We need embers to make the Stone Age glue birch tar.
3rd Day: Stripping bark from the wayfaring tree branches for arrow shafts. You can make really sharp blades from flint that can even cut through gloves… luckily there are modern plasters 😉 Arrowheads are made from flint fragments using a replica of Ötzi’s retoucheur.
4th Day: Field trip to the Archeopark in Schnalstal Valley. We practice shooting a bow, learn how to grind grain, and try other skills from the Stone Age.
5th Day: Arrows fly straighter when they’re fletched: we divide feathers lengthwise along the quill, glue them to the arrow shaft with birch tar, and wrap everything with nettle threads and sinews. In the afternoon we tell our parents how we made the arrows.
We thank the Grieserhof, the Archeoparc Schnalstal/Schnals Valley and montessori.coop for the friendly reception.
Photos: (c) South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology