If your school shuts down for an extended period and you need background information for your class's Stone Age topic, you may find the following selected links helpful. They relate mainly to the Old Stone Age (Palaeolithic), which coincided with the geological Ice Age, a vast period of time characterised by nomadic hunter-gatherers. By starting there you can draw stronger contrasts with the Middle and New Stone Ages, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, as per the NC statutory requirement. Rob Dinnis's Early Modern Human Europe website is well worth a visit, not least for its wonderful 3D models of Ice Age artefacts. The Musée Archéologie Nationale at Saint Germain-en-Laye near Paris holds an unrivalled collection of Palaeolithic portable art, including the beautiful Dame de Brassempouy, one of the earliest known carved representations of a human face. Council for British Archaeology: An educational charity working throughout the UK to involve people in archaeology and to promote the appreciation and care of the historic environment for the benefit of present and future generations. Young Archaeologists' Club: A network of UK clubs aimed at engaging aspiring young archaeologists aged 8-16. The Museum of London has an extensive range of Palaeolithic artefacts on permanent display, and a useful selection of education resources for Primary schools, including a short YouTube video about prehistoric tools and flint knapping, as demonstrated by Will Lord. The Ice Age Europe network of heritage sites brings together 20 different Palaeolithic sites and research centres across 7 different European countries, offering places to visit, events, a free magazine and other essential information about our continent's shared heritage. Proud to be an Archaeologist: BBC Bitesize clip (4:10) aimed at KS1/2 pupils, introducing the work of archaeologists and how the subject has evolved over time. John Frere was among the first English antiquarians to identify hand axes as being made by our human ancestors, and not being the product of nature. His short illustrated report written in 1797 not only challenged long-held biblical ideas about our distant past, but also comments on the stratigraphic sequence he observed at a clay digging site in Hoxne, Suffolk where his discoveries were made. His findings were considered so unusual that they were disregarded by other antiquarians for a further 50 years. Urgeschichtliches Museum, Blaubeuren: This museum near Ulm in in Germany displays some of the oldest known examples of sculptures and portable art in the world, including three flutes made from bird bones and mammoth ivory. The 'Schwabian Eve' sculpture is the earliest known sculpture of a complete human body. Another German site that is definitely worth a detour is The Neanderthal Museum at Dusseldorf, for some original and detailed insights into the life and times of our evolutionary relatives. Should your travels ever take you to Denmark, we can highly recommend the Sagnlandet open air museum at Lejre, which places far greater emphasis on prehistory than many open air sites, and most effectively too. Elsewhere in Denmark, the Stenaldercenter at Ertebolle, a village in Jutland that lends its name to a cultural group of Mesolithic coastal dwellers, and the Moesgaard Museum at Aarhus which has some unique coastal dweller artefacts and displays, along with Graubelle Man, preserved in a peat bog since his untimely death in the Iron Age. Also Denmark's National Museum in Copenhagen displays many of the country's most spectacular prehistoric discoveries. Woolly Mammoth Autopsy: Details of the Channel 4 TV Documentary about the discovery and examination of 'Buttercup', the Woolly Mammoth preserved in Siberian permafrost for thousands of years on Maly Lyakhovsky Island. To see a life-sized reconstructed skeleton of the mammoth found near Condover in Shropshire, we can recommend a visit to the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre at Craven Arms. Creswell Crags: Britain's only known Ice Age rock art can be found at this cave site on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border, where remains dating back 10-50,000 years have been discovered. Their website includes education resource downloads. Cave art isn't just about animals: Paleoanthropologist and rock art researcher Genevieve von Petzinger has identified 32 abstract symbols used by Ice Age artists in caves across Europe, suggesting that people had a common method of expression and communication long before the development of alphabetic writing. She summarises her findings in a TED talk. On a related note, numerous later Neolithic to early Bronze Age symbols were engraved into open air rock surfaces around Mont Bego, on France's border with Italy. The Musée des Merveilles in Tende features extensive information about these designs from around the same time as Otzi the Iceman. Prehistoric Art Timeline: With links to further information about each of the examples shown, this timeline traces the earliest known art back as far as 290,000 years ago. Lascaux II: Discovered in 1940 by local youths when a sealed cave entrance on a French hillside gave way, the stunning Palaeolithic artwork found within has achieved lasting worldwide fame. The Lascaux II visitor site is a faithful underground reconstruction of the original cave, which is now in too fragile a condition to permit large scale visits. Font-de-Gaume virtual tour: This cave at Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil offers one of the few remaining opportunities to see original polychrome (coloured) cave art, and its condition is so fragile that only 80 visitors a day are permitted into the cave system. This high resolution virtual tour isn't quite the same as being there, but it's a good alternative. Rouffignac: the French cave network where original monochrome cave drawings of woolly mammoth and woolly rhinoceros can be viewed, along with visible traces of cave bears, finger art, and the enigmatic tectiform symbol that appears in other caves in the region, some apparently drawn by children. Pech Merle: A further opportunity to see original polychrome cave art (including ancient handprints) can be found outside the French village of Cabrerets, at the Pech Merle cave and museum. Chauvet Pont d'Arc: Some of the oldest known cave art in Europe was discovered by French speliologists in 1994, in a limestone gorge beside the famed natural arch that straddles the Ardeche river. In similar style to Lascaux II, a huge replica cave has been constructed outside Vallon Pont d'Arc. The Chauvet cave art is also the subject of Werner Herzog's acclaimed 2010 documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Grottes d'Arcy: In Bourgogne it is possible to see original Palaeolithic paintings at the far end of a wonderful 450m limestone cavern full of natural concretions and features. A most entertaining and informative tour is offered at this tranquil site some distance from the better-known cave locations further south. Grottes de Cougnac: Among the few caves to feature clear representations of humans, along with animals, abstract shapes and (as with Rouffignac above) the tectiform symbol. Also notable for its beautiful concretions and natural formations. All of the art in these lesser-known caves is original.