Stone Age bits and pieces...

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John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
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Pembrokeshire
My work now includes, not only interpreting the Iron Age for school kids, but also the Stone Age.... so a new costume is being made!
So far I have made a fur cape (well - it is the back of an old fur coat held with a bone pin/limpet shell ring "penannular broach" type thing that I made ages ago) and now a few bits and pieces, roughly based on Otzi's kit and other established finds.
The main piece is a stone hammer made from a water worn pebble/cobble and a hazel pole. the hazel was split down to half thickness and this bit was boiled and wrapped around the stone, into which I had ground a "waist" to take the hazel. This was all bound into place with rawhide (from a dog chew) and waterproofed/glued with good old pine resin/beeswax/charcoal glue. For looks the handle was whipped with leather and a leather end binding put in place.
Also made were some antler beads/washers for toggles on pouches etc, an antler/chaga/antler bracelet, a mending kit tassel of thongs with an antler toggle, a couple of bone arrow heads, an antler javelin point, an antler/hazel "retoucher", an antler point an antler tine and a flint and a volcanic glass flake as well as a small pretty hammer stone for flint work :)DSCI0003.JPGDSCI0004.JPG
My kit will also use various bits I have made previously like some of the bits below - plus others
repair kits (15) bone needles and awl.JPGbone knife antler tweezers clothes pin.JPGtwo spears (2015_01_01 06_41_25 UTC).JPGcook stone bone knife limpet spoon harpoonhead.JPG
My next challenge is making a set of clothing ... I have just ordered a bunch of goat hides (like the one in the first photo) to play with ... and I have raided the local charity shops for fur/sheepskin coats :)
 

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Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
Lovely work John! The Mesolithic, Neolithic, up to the early Bronze Age, are of particular interest to me and something I have been studying for a while now. There's really good material in the Star Carr studies that's freely available if you haven't already seen it.
 
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punkrockcaveman

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Jan 28, 2017
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yorks
Awesome :) I've just finished reading 'the stone age hunters' by Graham Clarke, my first proper delve into paleo/mesolithic stuff so this is good timing!

Fantastic set of tools there, many of which came up in the book.
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Hi Broch - do you have a link for that - my google-fu is weak....

If you log on to this free Future Learn course you'll get access to their two large volumes of material. The course itself is worth doing IMO and doesn't really take that long.


There's a few bits in there that may be of particular interest to you such as the deer antler headdresses, the engraved pendent, and the bow.
 

FerlasDave

Full Member
Jun 18, 2008
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Off the beaten track
Oh, for the show you have to make some pink or white jelly and pretend that is fish. I think stone age people ate a lot of fish if living close to the sea shore. :eek:

Interestingly I believe they are a lot less than we think, during the interglacial period the sea wouldn’t have been as accessible as we might assume. Many of the caves near where I live that are now sea cliffs were a long way inland during this period, and few remains of sea life have actually been found. just use Doggerland as an example of how far the sea has moved inland. Most middens are far younger than we think also.
 

TLM

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 16, 2019
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Vantaa, Finland
Interestingly I believe they are a lot less than we think, during the interglacial period the sea wouldn’t have been as accessible as we might assume
24ky ago the sea was 133 m lower that is quite a lot in some places and not so much in others (measured as horizontal distances). If I remember correctly there has been stone age artifacts found tangled in fishermens nets from Doggerland. The tidal zone in these latitudes is fairly rich in edible things, I don't think that it was left unused. Not necessarily all fish but clams etc. some of the discarded shell beds are impressive at the southern edge of The Bay of Biscayne. Once agriculture was imported things clearly changed.

The sea shore was quite accessible, I don't see how that has changed. Of course those camp sites are somewhat sunken by now.
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
Fish was a really big deal in the diet. Intertidal weirs of wood or stone made harvest less of a chore. Although likely destroyed by now, I'd bet that far more ocean harvesting went on across the UK and Doggerland than we will ever know.

Somebody here posted a link to a Doggerland Museum of human artifacts.

Here in the Pacific Northwest, shellfish, mariculture, was a major part of the diet.
One midden alone is estimated to contain 27,000 m^3. Every possible intertidal beach was culturally modified for clams and oysters with mussels and limpets on the adjacent rock outcrops. Clams by the hundreds were strung on cords to be smoke-dried. Those are a treat that you can never forget.

I will be carving and building a couple of Tlingit Pacific halibut hooks this winter.
This one is Kwakwaka'Wakw ( mid coast) but they are all very similar in design. These catch only medium 50-150lb halibut and roll the fish over as you hand-line so they can't fight much.
 

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FerlasDave

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24ky ago the sea was 133 m lower that is quite a lot in some places and not so much in others (measured as horizontal distances). If I remember correctly there has been stone age artifacts found tangled in fishermens nets from Doggerland. The tidal zone in these latitudes is fairly rich in edible things, I don't think that it was left unused. Not necessarily all fish but clams etc. some of the discarded shell beds are impressive at the southern edge of The Bay of Biscayne. Once agriculture was imported things clearly changed.

The sea shore was quite accessible, I don't see how that has changed. Of course those camp sites are somewhat sunken by now.

24k years ago is a long time, I was referring to the period from around 12-15k bc. What was happening during that period was the glaciers would constantly recede and come back, meaning that the sea wasn’t necessarily accessible at all times. This is why we have a period of a few thousand years where the “UK” was uninhabited, it was literally walled off by glaciers. We have no idea exactly why, but fossil records for the interglacial period very rarely contain sea creatures, probably because like you say the shore then is beneath 100m of sea now.
 

TLM

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 16, 2019
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Vantaa, Finland
I was using this when referring to sea levels. I guess though that sea levels do not necessarily show glacier edge activity and yes before melting they went back and forth, we have clear indications of that here. Glacier edge would have been a very inhospitable environment but sea shore probably had plenty to eat. In those conditions I would expect to find people there. That is just a guess though.
 

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