News A stitch in time at Maidstone Museum

A stitch in time at Maidstone Museum image

A tiny bone needle, which was last used around 8,000 years ago during the middle stone age, will be featured in the new archaeology gallery ‘Lives in our landscape’ at Maidstone Museum when it opens early summer 2024.

It will be one of the new gallery’s highlights, showing how a good design doesn’t change and is still used today. The ordinary, everyday object was crafted out of bone thousands of years ago and would have used animal sinew or strong plant fibre threaded through the hole to stitch clothing together from animal skins.

Visitors to the gallery will be able to try on replica clothing made in the same way and experience the real ‘Flintstone’ look.

Work has started on the exciting new family-friendly gallery which will tell the story of how people have lived in the area over a vast span of time. 600,000 years of objects made and used will be on show, from the earliest type of humans hunting animals with stone tools in a forested landscape, up to the medieval period, when Maidstone became a bustling market town.

Cllr Claudine Russell, Cabinet Member for Communities, Leisure and Arts said:

It will be fascinating to see all of these objects in the new gallery, taking us back in time and imagining how a person living thousands of years ago used the same items we use today.

Visitors to the new gallery will be able to interact digitally and physically with the collections, taking part in hands-on activities, handling objects and trying on costumes. An interactive touchscreen map will also allow visitors to explore what has been unearthed in the borough of Maidstone.

Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) owns and runs the Maidstone Museums which includes Maidstone Carriage Museum. Sources of funding for the new gallery include £100,000 from the William and Edith Oldham Charitable Trust, matched by £100,000 raised by Maidstone Museums’ Foundation, together with £389,000 from the Council. Also supported by Council for British Archaeology South East who have provided a grant for replica objects for the gallery.

The museum team are working in partnership with the Kent Archaeological Society (KAS) to select objects.

Maidstone Museums’ Foundation is a charitable, independent organisation set up to lead everyone's appreciation of and support for the Museums. For more information about how to join the Maidstone Museums’ Foundation please visit:

For more information on all of the events at Maidstone Museum visit:

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