In our November session Brecon Beacons YAC found out all about the archaeology of bling, of how people in the past used high status items such as jewellery and other ornamentation to show their status, wealth and power, or even to express love, show loyalty, allegiance and belief. We started the session with a ‘Whose Bling is This?’ run around quiz, looking at examples of archaeological bling and trying to work out who wore it, when and why. This included a ring that the World War I soldier had made from part of a bone in his leg that was shot off during a battle – we decided to give and then wear part of someone’s leg that it must have been true love!
We then spent the rest of the session trying our hands at making our own bling from through the ages. We made Neolithic necklaces like those found at Skara Brae on Orkney, molding air drying clay to look like teeth and bones and threading on string to dry.
We made diadems worthy of the ancient Egyptians, using coloured paper, colouring pens, glitter glue, stick on gems and feathers, each to our own unique designs.
We also made silver Bronze Age style armlets using cardboard tubes as the base and then decorating with all things shiny and silver – foil, pipe cleans, stickers, metallic pens, ribbbons.
Finally we made Iron Age torcs making good use gold spray, paper, pipe cleaners, stickers, pom poms and tinsel for maximum bling effect.
It was a fun and messy session with lots of cutting and gluing, and by the end each member had a hoard of archaeological bling to take home to wow and dazzle their family and friends!