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The Stone Age

NEOLITHIC SETTLEMENTS in Hawthorn Class

We have studied the remains of a Neolithic settlement at Scar Brae in the Orkneys, Scotland. This amazing site was covered for centuries by sand and grass but a storm in 1854 uncovered this settlement with low houses all connected together. Moving on from the Mesolithic period, these houses were built by farmers who would still gather shellfish from the seashore. They were boat builders and fishermen too.

Nobody knows why the settlement was eventually abandoned - we suggested that it may have been that a better site was found over the sea, the food sources were too erratic, the harvest may have failed or the people were afraid of something.

MESOLITHIC SETTLEMENTS

We have worked in pairs to build a Mesolithic home from 'branches and animal skins'. We problem solved making a structure and securing 5 poles with string. Tying knots was a challenge!

 

We have learnt that homes that could be packed up and moved on as ancient people tried to find food. Mesolithic people were NOMADIC and moved around as they followed herds of deer etc. Prehistoric people were hunter- gatherers.

 

Settling by rivers meant easy access to water. Prehistoric people lived in family groups and small tribes. Hunters used flint spearheads to catch red deer for food. Animal skins were scraped with flint scrapers to produce leather for clothes and to cover the home.

CHRONOLOGY AND THE PASSAGE OF TIME.

We understand the term PERIODS of history.

We know that time can be split into B.C. Before Christ and A.D. Anno Domini (Year of our Lord).

We know that the Stone Age is PREHISTORY and was so long ago that nothing was written down.

We know that some periods in history overlap such as the Romans and Ancient Egyptians, the Vikings and the Anglo-Saxons.

PLOTTING PERIODS OF HISTORY ON A TIMELINE IN YEARS 3 AND 4

SKARA BRAE

KS2 have explored the Stone Age settlement of Skara Brae in the Orkney Islands which was uncovered by a ferocious storm in 1850. The settlement is1000 years older than Stonehenge! Archaeologists believe it was abandoned suddenly perhaps to storm damage as it is located by the sea. 

Its inhabitants would have been hunters, gatherers and fishermen. They lived in a small community of 8 houses all interlinked by small corridors of stone. Inside each house is a hearth, dresser, stone seating and bed spaces segmented by stones which would have been filled with bracken or heather to sleep on.

We created a floor plan of our house and built in stone just like our stone age ancestors. It has helped us imagine what living in this tiny village would have been like and how by building together we can create a community.

We experienced first hand what it would have been like to live in the Stone Age. We built a fire and toasted marshmallows.

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