This project aimed to build a replica of the Neolithic track found on Hatfield Moors.
Using experimental archaeology, the public and volunteers would learn how people lived and managed to travel across ancient landscapes.
The trackway model would then be used to help interpret and focus visitors’ attention to the stories of the Humberhead Levels and the peat that preserves so much information.
Lead: Natural England and North Lincolnshire Council
The project has been well received and created an appetite for work on the Moors. Volunteers have felt a sense of achievement and wish to carry on exploring the landscape.
The project was successfully led by the Isle of Axholme and Hatfield Chase Landscape Partnership and was attended by volunteers from different age groups, professions and backgrounds.
The project’s main components are natural history and experimental archaeology. Volunteers took part in upskilling workshops such as flint knapping and tool making. Workshops, which were led by experts, explored the landscape and searched for suitable trees whilst learning useful conservation skills.
School groups are engaging with project and visits are planned for 2019 and 2020. The reconstruction is a locally accessible offer for schools that can be tapped into when delivering Prehistory and Stone Age modules. This helps emphasis the unique #IoAHC area in their classroom.
The project featured in local press and subsequently created interest and raised awareness of the scheduled monument and the bigger story of Hatfield Moors.
“The Trackway project has been a breath of fresh air. A revelation, no less. It’s been great to work alongside local people and academics alike. All of whom have the same passion for interpretation of the past. The variety and scope of the project has tied everything together beautifully. I have been happy to contribute my time and energies to such a worthwhile cause. As far as I can tell, Access was available to all; in fact, people were actively encouraged to become involved. Barriers, were smashed; or at least put to one side. Everything had the feeling of openness. This in turn led to a greater level of involvement and understanding. Participation has thus been increased and I’m sure will continue to do so. Hopefully, in fact, I’m sure this will be simply the start of something really special. This is how the world of archaeology can coexist; in fact thrive in a world where everybody misses Time Team”
“Unique learning opportunity opened up so many questions about the trackway, the Neolithic people that built the trackway and the natural environment in which they are living. The event leads also made this an interesting but fun day, whereby everyone was involved. Good community spirit and overall a rewarding day.”
“What a fantastic weekend about the Hatfield Trackway and learning how to use Neolithic tools and how the tools affect us.”
“I had a fab time at the weekend. The Saturday morning talks were informative, stimulating and inspirational.”
“I was very much impressed with the Neolithic Trackway project and enjoyed it very much. I appreciate the tremendous background work that goes in to set up an event like this. The children singing and poetry reading, the lectures were all interesting and created the right atmosphere and were informative.”
Following on from the Neolithic trackway project, the group have played an active role, returning to the site to maintain and care for the reconstruction and surrounding area.
On-site interpretation will be produced and situated next to the trackway and platform reconstruction. Signage will tell the story of the trackway discovery, excavation and building the reconstruction.
Interpretation will also be produced for permanent display the Reserve Centre and Life Lab Hatfield Moors.
Online resources will also be produced for use by Natural England, teachers, parents and guardians. The resources will provide information about the trackway, the landscape, on-site facilities and booking a school visit.
In 2020, a Late Neolithic house will be constructed on Hatfield Moors following on from the trackway reconstruction. This secondary project is in response to volunteers wishing to learn more about the area during the Neolithic, a desire to continue experimenting and exploring the landscape. The house project will provide a unique space for learning and it is hoped increase visitor numbers to the site.