Loan Kits

Archaeology Scotland has a host of hands-on resources for you to borrow: Artefact Investigation Kits and other activity kits for you and your learners to handle artefacts, do the work of an archaeologist and see what life was like in the past.

To book any of our kits or enquiries regarding loans please email with 'loans' in the subject line.

Artefact Investigation Kits

There are six Artefact Investigation Kits, containing real and replica artefacts. The kits come with information about the artefacts and have ideas for activities and where to find out more.  Because the kits are very versatile, they can be used at all levels, although the support material is primarily aimed at beginners.

Each kit is themed and the themes are as follows:

  •   Fantastic Flint covers flint knapping/working in the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Ages (c. 8500 BC to c. 500 BC). Full description here.    
  •   Iron Age Scotland looks at artefacts, houses and settlements from c. 500 BC to c. 500 AD.  Full description of contents here.
  •   Roman Scotland (80 AD c. 200 AD) considers the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire.  Most of what we know about the Romans in Scotland comes from archaeological, not historical, sources.  Full description here.
  •   Viking Scotland discover what life was like in Scotland during the Scandinavian period (796 AD to mid-1400s AD). A description of the contents here.
  •   Industrial Archaeology has four topics, each with its own set of activities and artefacts: the earth’s natural resources; man made materials; working and living with coal; and taking it outside – finding out about Industrial Archaeology in your area. Contents description here.
  •   Storytelling Kit explores the past through archaeological artefacts and the stories they can tell. The kit is primarily aimed at the Early Years and introduces learners to the idea that artefacts can help us to understand the past.  Description and pictures here.

In addition to any of these you may wish to borrow our TIMELINE BANNER which gives a linear, visual representation of sites from the Mesolithic period (c7000 BC) to the present day.

Activity Kits

Use these hands-on resources to explore:

The work of an archaeologist

  •  Survey equipment for either basic survey and/or tape-and-offset survey and/or plane table and alidade survey.  You may need to have some experience to use this equipment although it is ideal for numeracy and literacy.
  •   Skeleton Investigation Kit.  Why not have a go at forensic archaeology.  The kit contains an anatomically correct skeleton with a mysterious extra skull!  Investigate what diseases this person may have had? How old were they? Can you tell if they are male or female, if so which skull is the correct one? Great supporting documents to help you get going.

What life was like in the past

  •  Roman Writing Kit focuses on Roman Scotland as well as the writing tablets found at Vindolanda on Hadrian's Wall.  Learners use replica Roman wax tablets and wooden styli to complete four activities.  
  •   Historic Writing Kit inspires learners to create their own gothic script and illuminated letters.  
  • Exploring Historic Writing Materials comes with the kit above or can be borrowed on its own.  A handling session introduces learners to various forms of stationary used before the invention of paper and learners are instructed on how to create their own paper products.  
  •   Grinding Kit is for learners to use quernstones to make flour


Find out about our loan kits