How did they view the seasons, their success in obtaining food, longevity, the need for offspring.
To look at two thousand years ago we have the Bible as a mirror of thought, at least for the Middle East. I read recently that after the Romans left Britain circa AD 450 we went back to utilising hill forts and defended enclosures. Yet by then trade had been established for many centuries even before the Romans, Welsh gold, Cornish tin, iron from the Sussex Weald, glass from Sunderland (possibly), axes from Langdale even way before all that.
Yet its before then that interests me, say 4k BC plus and minus 2k years which I guess is centred at Neolithic (new stone age) and includes early Bronze Age. We have carved rocks up here that figure in that era and there is much speculation as to what these very clever and repeated motifs signify. That apart, my way into them is to ponder on the outlook of such people and the context of their location.
How did they view the passage of the sun and the altering seasons? Did they take it very much for granted that each year repeated itself with absolute certainty? Stonehenge and suchlike constructions allowed them to fix with dead accuracy the high and low points of the year, their solidity and permanence of construction verifying the exactly repeated year ( they will have known to work into the arithmetic the idea of leap years) perhaps this is the main points of a construction like S'henge, to verify and prove the need of this leap year / four year correction that otherwise would throw out their calendar. Many generations of scholar priests would have been steeped in this knowledge and observation.
I assume that by the Romans arrival we were already steeped in festival and ritual. So telescoping back 4k years I wonder to what degree they were thankful for their good luck and full belly and that poor hunting and bad weather might jeopardise all that. Its at this point the builders of S'henge were dead certain of the astronomical alignments and must have known for some time. Only a people dead certain of their facts would erect such a massive structure. If only we could see a Stoneage webcam !
So at 4k BC did our hunting man leave his dwelling and pursue game and fully expect to be sucessful, or was he more timorous and realise certain things had to fall in place before a good result was obtained. Did the countryside teem with food? And I wonder to what degree they were good cooks, probably good ones, they may not have had our modern technology tho there was no lack of brains. if you can make a crude clay pot then theres noreason why some bird or animal could not be simmered for twelve hours. Also as well there would be competition and great pride in cooking a better meal.
I have never seen it stated WHY ancient man started to till the land and raise crops. My uneducated guess is that they wanted barley for beermaking and winter feed for some stock. After all, it would be easier to go and catch something, though perhaps they conciously thought lets widen our diet; was it a voluntary thing or was it through neccessity?
mmm .. nice mental exercise to ponder these things.
Pics are all tonight, field one is short of two or three inc the dappled grey one, I had these last few weeks made special effort to feed her from the bucket. She seemed a bit too good natured to participate and win in the hierachy game.
Tags: ancient man