A mammoth exhibition!

A family friendly exhibition, full of hands-on activities, takes over City Space at Winchester Discovery Centre during August.

Specially suited for families out and about during the school holidays, Surviving the Stone Age contains stone tools made by early people in Hampshire many thousands of years ago, along with Ice Age animal bones of the creatures they hunted, including woolly mammoth bones.

The exhibition asks you to consider what skills you would have need to live during Stone Age times. You can find out how hunter-gatherer people in Hampshire adapted to survive the extreme climate changes. During the Ice Ages, glaciers covered much of Britain. At other times the climate was mild, or even warmer than today.  With Ice Age 3 now showing at cinemas, this is the perfect exhibition to provide your children with some interesting facts to underpin their fictional viewing.

You will also be able to handle actual artefacts from the Stone Age, including hand axes up to 400,000 years. Then have a go at activities to test your skills in tracking animals, identifying edible foods or creating cave paintings. You can also help us create our own giant woolly mammoth, and even smell Stone Age smells, if you dare.

Curators at Winchester City Council’s museums service have liaised with colleagues from other museums in the area to bring together a wealth of objects from the time. There will even be newly discovered artefacts found at the bottom of the Solent by underwater archaeologists from the Hampshire & Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology.

Also featured will be a fun ‘Wallace and Gromit’- style animated film made during a two-day workshop run by Winchester Museums for children, which contains detailed instructions on how to survive the Stone Age as seen through their eyes.

Robin Iles, education officer for the museums service, said, “Putting together this exhibition has been a great opportunity to learn more about our Stone Age ancestors and about some of the objects going on display. I can only admire the skills and knowledge they possessed that allowed them to survive the Ice Age”.

Patricia Stallard, portfolio holder for heritage, culture and sport at Winchester City Council, said, “Our curatorial team has taken some of the fascinating objects from the City Council’s reserve collections to produce an exhibition which will be both educational and fun. Who would imagine that woolly mammoths might once have wandered down Winchester’s High Street?”

The exhibition runs at City Space from Saturday 1 August to Sunday 6 September 2009.  City Space is open 10am - 6pm weekdays so there is plenty of time for an after work visit. Saturday opening times are 10am - 5pm, and Sundays 11am - 4pm.  Admission is free.