We are an experimental archaeology site with replica buildings based on historic sites from the Stone Age to Viking Age.
We work with groups of all ages on day visits and longer projects with hands on learning historic skills.
Our school day activities are linked to KS1 and KS2 of the National Curriculum for History.
We can make bespoke days of hands on activities and historical skills for KS3, KS4 and KS5 students.
Visitors to our site work together to experience what life would have been like to farm, build and live in the past.
We are a site for hire and are open on select weekends in the year for public viewing. Please check our Public Events page and subscribe to our mailing list for more details.
Between them our tutors have over 60 years teaching experience to a range of adults and young people.
Some are archaeologists with experience of working on digs and archive projects. Other have experience of working in Outdoor Education centres and in re-enactments. All are enthusiastic and encouraging in their approach to teaching historic skills to all ages.
Together they work on:
and much more!
Our site would not function without the knowledge and expertise of our volunteers. To see more of what there do click below.
The concept of the ATC was the inspiration of Jake Keen, a teacher working at Cranborne Middle School who, over 30 years ago, designed and led the building of an Iron Age roundhouse based on archaeological evidence. The construction was undertaken by school children who harvested local materials from nearby woodlands and reed beds. This founding principle of allowing participants to get 'hands on' has guided the ethos of the centre to this day.
Luke Winter took over from Jake in 2002 and further expanded the site with the creation of our magnificent Viking Longhouse. Following a visit to Denmark to research longhouses, Luke used that information to design a building specifically for school residential visits.
With the combined effort of staff and the help of many enthusiastic volunteers, the building took four years to complete.
Over the years further buildings were constructed – always with the focus on experimental archaeology and hands on learning for the visitors.
In 2012 the Ancient Technology Centre was commissioned by English Heritage to carry out an experimental archaeology programme to reconstruct Neolithic houses.
Our largest reconstruction on site to date has been the Viking Longhouse. Construction started in 2007 and was completed in 2010. Schools use this building throughout the summer for their 'Viking Residential' experience.