The first page in my History book makes quite a few bold claims, some of which don’t quite convince, so as I go through it, it might be wise to do a bit of fact-checking. Hot Weather The Stone Age covers a massive period of around 3.4 million years, so in that time the climate fluctuated quite a bit, including at least three ice ages and several warmer periods called interglacials. The Paleolithic period (here infantilised as ‘The Old Stone Age’ - and I think if we can cope with the word ‘dinosaur’ we can definitely cope with ‘paleolithic’) lasted almost that entire time, until the end of the Pleistocene epoch about 11,700 years ago. So to write the weather off as just ‘hot’ does prehistory a great disservice. Although to be fair, in a few pages the weather is merely ‘warm’, and before long people are making fire to stop themselves freezing to death, so maybe the author knew this and just forgot to say so. Massive Animals There were definitely large beasts in Britain and the rest of Europe during the Ice Age (which may well have been part of the Stone Age), including the Cave Lion, the Stone Age Elephant (twice the size of a modern African elephant), the Woolly Rhinoceros, the Woolly Mammoth and the giant deer, or Irish elk. Supersize lions, 25% bigger than the biggest lions of today, once roamed Britain, but this wasn’t discovered until 2009. You’d be expected to know this stuff now if you’re in Key Stage 2 (around 7-8 years old). Stone Age Diet It’s obvious, right? Nuts and berries and fruit and bits of meat from small animals killed humanely. Nothing mixed together or cooked or made to taste any better. Always the same, all around the world, for millions of years. So obvious, we just instinctively know it’s true and don’t have to investigate it any further at all. Unsurprisingly, the truth isn’t quite so straightforward. The ‘Paleolithic Diet’ we all instinctively know is basically a modern fad diet based on misconceptions about stone age cuisine. This article explores what Stone Age humans actually did eat. This article examines the evidence for the suggestion that humans started eating meat round 2.6 million years ago (when it’s debatable whether we were actually humans at all). Also: did Stone Age people really only eat small animals? Would they rather eat a squirrel, which would barely cover breakfast, than a mammoth, which might feed an entire family for a week? All these massive animals and no one’s going to try to kill and eat them?
October 1979
People in the Old Stone Age
People in the Old Stone Age
People in the Old Stone Age Guy Fawkes People in the Old Stone Age: 2 People in the Old Stone Age: 3 The New Stone Age People of the Bronze Age The Story of Nelson: 1 The Story of Nelson: 2 The Story of Nelson: 3 Florence Nightingale The Story of Nelson: 4 The Story of Nelson: 5 The Story of Nelson: 6 The Story of Nelson: 7 Christopher Columbus: 1 Christopher Columbus: 2 The Soldier Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon’s Mother The Queen of Spain The French Revolution The Surrender of Toulon Upon Return From Italy The Armed Revolt Josephine de Beauharnais The Thin Young Man The Little Corporal The Most Famous Man in France A Proposal About Egypt Master of France Weary of War Hero of the People Emperor at 34 Danger Across the Sea Wherever Wood Can Float An Empire in Decline
TERM 1 Sept-Dec 1979
TOPIC 1 Sept-Dec 1979
FAIRBURN The place where I wrote all this rubbish
WAEN SHEPHERD Who was this strange little boy?
SCIENCE 1 Sept 1979 - Mar 1980
GEOGRAPHY 1 Sept 1979 - Feb 1981
The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
The first page in my History book makes quite a few bold claims, some of which don’t quite convince, so as I go through it, it might be wise to do a bit of fact-checking. Hot Weather The Stone Age covers a massive period of around 3.4 million years, so in that time the climate fluctuated quite a bit, including at least three ice ages and several warmer periods called interglacials. The Paleolithic period (here infantilised as ‘The Old Stone Age’ - and I think if we can cope with the word ‘dinosaur we can definitely cope with ‘paleolithic’) lasted almost that entire time, until the end of the Pleistocene epoch about 11,700 years ago. So to write the weather off as just ‘hot’ does prehistory a great disservice. Although to be fair, in a few pages the weather is merely ‘warm’, and before long people are making fire to stop themselves freezing to death, so maybe the author knew this and just forgot to say so. Massive Animals There were definitely large beasts in Britain and the rest of Europe during the Ice Age (which may well have been part of the Stone Age), including the Cave Lion, the Stone Age Elephant (twice the size of a modern African elephant), the Woolly Rhinoceros, the Woolly Mammoth and the giant deer, or Irish elk. Supersize lions, 25% bigger than the biggest lions of today, once roamed Britain, but this wasn’t discovered until 2009. You’d be expected to know this stuff now if you’re in Key Stage 2 (around 7-8 years old). Stone Age Diet It’s obvious, right? Nuts and berries and fruit and bits of meat from small animals killed humanely. Nothing mixed together or cooked or made to taste any better. Always the same, all around the world, for millions of years. So obvious, we just instinctively know it’s true and don’t have to investigate it any further at all. Unsurprisingly, the truth isn’t quite so straightforward. The ‘Paleolithic Diet’ we all instinctively know is basically a modern fad diet based on misconceptions about stone age cuisine. This article explores what Stone Age humans actually did eat. This article examines the evidence for the suggestion that humans started eating meat round 2.6 million years ago (when it’s debatable whether we were actually humans at all). Also: did Stone Age people really only eat small animals? Would they rather eat a squirrel, which would barely cover breakfast, than a mammoth, which might feed an entire family for a week? All these massive animals and no one’s going to try to kill and eat them?
September/October 1979
People in the Old Stone Age
TERM 1 Sept-Dec 1979
TOPIC 1 Sept-Dec 1979
FAIRBURN The place where I wrote all this rubbish
WAEN SHEPHERD Who was this strange little boy?
SCIENCE 1 Sept 1979 - Mar 1980
GEOGRAPHY 1 Sept 1979 - Feb 1981
The Forgotten World John and Mick fall foul of some extreme potholing
People in the
Old Stone Age