When the structure was complete, a hole was dug in the centre
of the lodge. The stones were heated in the middle of a specially stacked
about 2 hours, the wood collapsed and we could hear the
stones falling into the fire pit. We raked out the stones, and placed them in a specially
made carrier (Hodd). The stones were carried into the middle of the sweat
lodge, and placed in the pit. This was covered with a barrier
to stop anyone getting burnt on the stones.
Once everyone had entered the sweat lodge, water was
poured on the stones to create steam. The effect was fantastic!
Collecting the stones from the ashes
of the fire
Finally we had our chance to experience
a bronze age sauna
Once you are inside the sweat lodge, and the opening
is covered over, it is so dark the only thing you can see
are the stones glowing! Once the water is poured on, it immediately evaporates,
and the air is filled with clouds of steam. We tried throwing herbs onto the stones, lavender and
sage….it filled the sweat lodge with a wonderful scent.
It is quite a nice feeling though, it does get extremely
hot, and in the first steam can be uncomfortable. However
when you return to the outside, you feel extremely refreshed,
if a little pink cheeked!
We also tried a host of other Bronze Age activities:
We tried recreating some Bronze Age
pottery. We made the pots by coiling sausages of clay round
a flat base. The sides of the pot were built up layer by
layer, and then smoothed to create a clean finish. We marked
the pots with bits of string, wood and our fingernails,
just as they would have done 3 thousand years ago!
is an example of our attempt to tie-dye some cloth with
Onion Skins. We peeled the skins and boiled them up on the
fire, the result was quite impressive, with a pale yellow
brown colour resulting.
Although they may not have used onion skins, the Bronze
age people could have used other plants to dye their cloth.
…and some of our weaving………. (a few mistakes apparent….but
it was the first attempt!) We used a traditional warp weighted
loom, it was made with rather more modern materials than
would have been found in the Bronze Age, however the overall
design is the same.
We will be using this later on in the year to try and
weave wool that we have spun and dyed ourselves.
are some members' comments about the day.....
enjoyed it. The sweat lodge itself was fantastic; the day
wouldn't have been complete without it. It's amazing how
they ever thought of it!"
really enjoyed it, so did I, but I did get rather hot! I
enjoyed making Bronze Age pottery too, I have just finished
painting my plate. I am really, really pleased with it.
I tried some of the Bronze Age bread too and it was really
quite nice. I wouldn't mind eating bread like that every
actually do the weaving, but my dad and I found ourselves
wondering how they managed to think out how to use things
like wood and stone to make a lump of sheep hair into fine
thread. Altogether the whole family really enjoyed the day."
was fun! I thought it was a relaxing and magical experience
- especially when the herbs were put on the stones!"
Lodge was really hot that's probably why it has sweat in
the name. In the Sweat Lodge you had to keep on putting
different spices in the fire .The Clay Making was really
fun where you rolled out long peices of clay and pieced
them on to the base."