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Stone Age to the Iron Age

Discussion in 'History' started by teaching-topics, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. teaching-topics

    teaching-topics New commenter

    Free resource on the TES web site - Just uploaded

    The Palaeolithic

    Lesson plans and activities, facts, cartoons and video.
    cookiebreak likes this.
  2. cookiebreak

    cookiebreak New commenter

    Very helpful
  3. cookiebreak

    cookiebreak New commenter

    I right clicked the .swf file and opened up the interactive with internet explorer - was that right?
  4. teaching-topics

    teaching-topics New commenter

    Yes, download and then extract the four files

    Activities and lesson plans
    swf file

    Then right click the swf file and open with internet explorer which will start the interactive.
  5. cookiebreak

    cookiebreak New commenter

    Thank you
    purpleorangewhite likes this.
  6. teaching-topics

    teaching-topics New commenter

    Stone Age to the Iron Age - The Palaeolithic Period Interactive – Free resource on TES.

    As an archaeologist I have included what I think are the key facts for the Palaeolithic period.

    This is week 2 of a 6wk cross curricular module covering –

    What is Prehistory? The Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age.
  7. teaching-topics

    teaching-topics New commenter

    Lesson Activity idea – Stone Age to Iron Age – What a load of rubbish!

    Rubbish – what can it tell us?

    As an archaeologist we can learn a lot about past societies from the things they threw away.

    Whereas today we have landfill sites and recycling centres, pre-historic rubbish was often buried in smaller pits which archaeologists call a midden.

    When we excavate a midden we can find all sorts of items such as animal bones which can tell us about some of the animals they ate and maybe show a preference for certain types of meats. Some of these animal bones may even have cut marks on them to show how they may have been butchered.

    We can also find broken pieces of pottery, stone and metal tools, organic matter and sometimes even human burials. In some cases, a midden environment can preserve organic materials such as wood, basketry, and plant food and even items such as shoes.

    Have the class make a list of what they think could be found in a pre-historic rubbish tip.

    What do you think these finds can tell us about the people that threw these things away?

    List what items we throw away today and list what items we recycle.

    Is there a difference between a Stone Age midden or rubbish site and a modern rubbish bin?

    If Archaeologists in 2,000 years time discover a landfill site, what do you think it will tell them about how we lived in the 21st century?

    Stone Age to the Iron Age - The Palaeolithic Period Interactive – Free resource on TES.
  8. teaching-topics

    teaching-topics New commenter

    An example of typology including a Palaeolithic hand axe and a Mesolithic microlith

    1 Flint.jpg

    Free resource on TES - The Palaeolithic Period Interactive - Stone Age to the Iron Age
  9. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Good quality presentation, useful photos, and helpful informative text on relevant topics. It certainly knocks spots off the nonsense that a certain popular publishing group is putting out under the guise of KS2 learning resources.

    My only reservation is why perpetuate the 'Flintstone' clothing stereotype via the cartoon people? Why not show them dressed correctly for the climate and the available technology? That aside I'd still recommend it.
  10. teaching-topics

    teaching-topics New commenter

    Many thanks for your supportive comments. We’re really glad you like it.

    With regards to your questions about the more ‘basic’ look of the characters, I do see what you're saying, and agree that it may look a little 'Flintstone' like, but as this module focusses primarily on the Palaeolithic period, we actually have little if any real evidence for the survival of clothing and not enough for us to suggest anything other than the more basic look.

    We know however, that given the severe climate that some prehistoric people lived in that a certain type of clothing must have been worn and maybe even more than one layer, whereas in some warmer climates, clothing would not have been a necessity for survival.

    We do have evidence of possible hide working from the wear and tear on Neanderthal teeth, and microwear analysis of some of the flint tools used, also indicate evidence of actually working with hide, such as scrapers used to clean the skins, and a flint piercing tool or awl which was used to create a hole through which a bone needle (which we have evidence for) which would have been used to secure the hide,

    It’s not until much later in the archaeological record that we have good evidence for the survival of fabric. Otzi the Iceman, the world’s oldest preserved human body, who lived around 3,300 BCE, during the Late Neolithic period, was preserved along with items of clothing which included a coat made of tanned goat hide, bearskin shoes, leather leggings and a bearskin hat. We cover this in another module.

    Until we have real evidence for the survival of clothing from the lower and middle Palaeolithic period, then as archaeologists we’d be providing false information if we suggested anything in more detail.

    So I do take your point, but at this moment in time we have insufficient evidence to suggest anything other than the more ‘basic’ look that we have suggested in this first module.

    Hope that makes sense?
    magic surf bus likes this.
  11. teaching-topics

    teaching-topics New commenter

    Not sure why an auto censor replaced a key word
    It should have read.

    We do have evidence of possible hide working from the wear and tear on Neanderthal teeth, and microwear analysis of some of the flint tools used, also indicate evidence of actually working with hide, such as scrapers used to clean the skins, and a flint piercing tool or awl which was used to create a hole through which a bone needle (which we have evidence for) would then have been used to secure the hide with gut.

    Ok, maybe I see why now!
  12. teaching-topics

    teaching-topics New commenter

    let's try the word a 'small' hole then......
  13. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Perfect sense - it's a subject that's very close to my heart. I'm involved in a similar field to you and am in a position to recommend your resources to others, hence my interest. Logically, if they hunted and butchered some form of deer throughout much of the Palaeolithic (bone evidence suggests this), and if the climate was at times significantly colder than today's then it is reasonable to assume that they wouldn't have thrown the hides away. They would have covered bare skin and heads in winter and/or glacial periods. It would thus be equally reasonable (regardless of surviving organic evidence) to show people from this time dressed in a similar fashion to (say) Siberian reindeer herders rather than in a fetching little off the shoulder number from the house of Hanna Barbera. They were perfectly capable of trimming, adapting and sewing hides to fit comfortably, and it's not a highly specialised skill either. Anyone with sufficient eyesight, dexterity and patience can do it. Obviously there would be no standard style, just literally make do and mend, but cover up they most definitely would have done. To my mind it's more false to use the 'Flintstones' garb as the default when a bit of reasoned speculation would allow a decent stab at the likely appearance of Palaeolithic/Pleistocene clothing. Most 7-8 years olds will understand this if you take the time to present it to them.

    Not a huge issue honestly, just one of personal interest - I still like what you're doing and am happy to tell others about it, but anything that dispels the cartoon stereotype, even speculation, is a step in the right direction in my opinion. Please keep up the good work.
  14. teaching-topics

    teaching-topics New commenter

    Thanks again for the comments, I agree entirely.

    Our plan eventually is to break the subject matter down even further and explain in more detail as you say the evidence, but as the curriculum only starts at the Neolithic and misses out the Palaeolithic and the Mesolithic, we thought we would provide a basic back ground to these important ‘Stone Age’ periods for teachers and children.

    Hopefully we have provided more detail in the other modules (the link is on the free Palaeolithic module). Your feedback on those would be very welcome.

    We would very much welcome more feedback from teachers as we would like to produce a complete range of modules from an archaeological perspective, covering the Romans, Saxon, Vikings and Normans as well as other World Cultures such as Mesopotamia etc.

    As you know archaeology is forever changing and the evidence we have now is turning the old view of the ‘Dark Ages’ on its head, including our view of Vikings who have had a bad press over the years! Our youngest daughter is learning about the Saxons and Vikings this term, with the topic title Settlers and Invaders, I think that very often things are described in this way because of years of stereotyping as well!
    magic surf bus likes this.
  15. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Not strictly true - the statutory element of the NC is "Changes in Britain from the Stone Age to the Iron Age". The quoted examples that begin with the late Neolithic are only non-statutory examples that disregard around 99% of our species' technological history, which is why filling the Palaeolithic resource niche effectively is so important.

    By starting with the Palaeolithic nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle it's much easier for youngsters to draw contrasts with the settled agrarian ways that were established by the Iron Age. If you start at the Neolithic (as per the short-sighted NC example) there's much less scope. Studying the Ice Age is most definitely cool :)
  16. cookiebreak

    cookiebreak New commenter

    Some good points made.
  17. teaching-topics

    teaching-topics New commenter

    Research – Stone Age speech

    Scientific analysis of a Neanderthal's fossilised hyoid bone – which is a horseshoe-shaped

    structure in the neck – may suggests that they had the ability to speak.

    A previous study of a Neanderthals skull found in 1908 in La Chapelle in France, suggested that because the base of the skull was flat, that the vocal tract would not have been able to produce certain vowel sounds such as ‘A’, ‘I’ and ‘U’.

    However, new research which includes computer modelling on a 60,000 year old Neanderthal hyoid bone, which is a crucial bone for speaking as it supports the root of the tongue, shows that the bone is “indistinguishable from our own,”.

    A commonly held theory dates the use of speech to about 100,000 years ago suggesting that only modern humans were capable of complex speech. However, older hyoid bones which have been found more recently, are over 500,000 years old. Stephen Wroe, a zoologist and palaeontologist with the University of New England said that ‘although these bones have yet to be studied, they are likely similar to those of modern humans and Neanderthals, which may suggest that the ability for language could be dated back even further’.

    This may indicate that prehistoric people had the ability to use their vocal tract in a manner comparable to the way modern humans do.

    Whether they did or not however has not been proven!

    Lesson Activity - Drama.

    ‘Communicating before language’.

    Assign each group an activity written on a piece of paper, (i.e going fishing to catch food for supper, or going to visit a relative or friend).

    1. Ask children to act out the activity in silence, asking them to create a series of repeated actions ( i.e walking fingers means going fishing, casting a line and reeling it in means going fishing etc.) -

    Ask one member of the group to work out what they are saying.

    2. Ask the children to repeat the exercise but this time using basic sounds.

    3. Finally ask the group to carry out a new conversation but this time using actions, sounds and drawings.


    Which is the most effective way of communicating?

    Compare with today

    How do we communicate with our friends today?

    Are we animated when we talk?

    How much do we communicate by writing/texting via a phone?
    cookiebreak likes this.
  18. teaching-topics

    teaching-topics New commenter

    Paintings of wild animals and hand markings left by adults and children on cave walls in Indonesia are some of the oldest artworks known.

    The rock art was originally discovered in caves on the island of Sulawesi in the 1950s, but dismissed as younger than 10,000 years old because scientists thought older paintings could not possibly survive in a tropical climate.

    Fresh analysis of the pictures by an Australian-Indonesian team has stunned researchers by dating one hand marking to at least 39,900 years old, and two paintings of animals, a pig-deer or babirusa, and another animal, probably a wild pig, to at least 35,400 and 35,700 years ago respectively.

    Free resource on the TES web site -

    Stone Age to the Iron Age - The Palaeolithic

    Lesson plans and activities, facts, cartoons and video.
    Cave panting.jpg
  19. teaching-topics

    teaching-topics New commenter

    Happy Darwin Day!

    Free resource on the TES web site - Week 2 The Palaeolithic - Lesson plans and activities, facts, cartoons and videos.

  20. teaching-topics

    teaching-topics New commenter

    Check out the video on 'Flint' on the 'Stone Age to the Iron Age' - The Palaeolithic Period Week 2 Interactive – Free cross curricular resource on TES.

    Other videos in the topic series include flint, pottery, metalwork, roundhouses and a 3d virtual model of a roundhouse

    [This comment/image/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2016
    cookiebreak likes this.

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