A selection of great watchables on YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook.
In the summers of 2015 the Stone Age Park Dithmarschen in Albersdorf (Germany) organized a Stone Age Living Project in the area of the newly built 2014 “Mesolithic Settlement” site, in the form of both an educational programme and as an experiment. The activities and outputs (used tools and established structures) were scientifically documented by archaeologists from the Archaeological Department of the University of Exeter, England, as partner of the OpenArch-project. The scientific results will be published by Exeter, the detailed documentation will be published by the Stone Age Park in form of a magazine and a brochure.
The aim of the project was to reconstruct the everyday life of hunter-gatherers of Mesolithic Northern Europe around 5000 BC by doing an authentic as possible life experiment with skilled re-enactors and experimental archaeologists, in order to gain a new type of insight of how life might have been at that time.
- ProjectLivingMesolithic Facebook page »
- @Living.Mesolithic Facebook page (2015) »
- Photograph album by Frank Wiersema »
Images © Frank Wiersema
◊ Imagined realities in the portrayal and investigation of the British Mesolithic | Don Henson at TAG Braford Dec-2015 | 15-May-2016 Youtube (20min) Academic
“Fiction can be a powerful way of imagining the past. Examining how the Mesolithic has been communicated is part of my PhD research into public perceptions of the Mesolithic. The starting point for this paper is the words of novelist Margaret Elphinstone: ‘In the blank spaces between the words of archaeological narrative lie the buried kernels of all the forgotten stories‘. This paper will explore the dissonance between academic portrayals of the Mesolithic and portrayals of the period in fictional novels and short stories. I will look at the range of narrative elements presented: characters in settings carrying out actions which may be affected by external happenings.
Whereas archaeology of the Mesolithic is good at conveying settings and happenings, I will argue that it is to fiction that we must turn for an exploration of characters and actions. This in turn should deliver a better appreciation of what we should be seeking to recover through our research. We need to move beyond seeing Mesolithic people as hunter-gatherers and towards a more rounded view of them as people, and to think how we might recover aspects of life higher up Hawkes’s ladder of inference than the purely technological and economic.”
◊ Cramond in the Mesolithic era | Open Virtual Worlds in association with the Cramond Association and Cramond Heritage Trust | 11-Apr-2016 (Oct-2015 Vimeo) (5min)
Val Dean talks about Cramond (near Edinburgh) in the Mesolithic era (c.10,000 – 4500 BC), exploring what life was like for the population at this time; what people ate, how they lived, the tools they used and what traces remain for archaeologists to explore.
◊ Mesolithic Footsteps: The Upper Dee Tributaries Project | National Trust Scotland | 11-Feb-2016 Vimeo (18min)
Get behind the scenes with archaeologists and scientists as they explore 10,000 years of human history on the Mar Lodge Estate – uncover the links between tiny flint tools, climate change and pit-roast venison.
◊ Skulls, Shamans and Sacrifice in Stone Age Britain | Digging Diaries | 13-Jul-2015 Youtube (2min)
The Mesolithic settlement of Star Carr in North Yorkshire has fascinated archaeologists for decades. Nicky Milner and her digging team from York University are embarking on their final ever excavation on site to unlock the secrets of this mysterious landscape. They’ve been filming every moment of discovery to give us a glimpse into our ancient past.
Image | Prof Nicky Milner & Son at Flixton Island, 2014 (Microburin)
◊ Mesolithic Arrow | Will Lord | 27-Sep-2015 Youtube (15min)
Watch master flint knapper and tool maker Will Lord create a fletched Mesolithic arrowhead.
◊ Mesolithic fire-making | Roeland Paardekooper | 07-Jun-2014 Youtube
Six and a half minutes of atmospheric Mesolithic fire-making at the archaeological open-air museum Oerlinghausen (despite there being a fire already lit behind!). Werner is using a bow-and-drill and then tinder. Certain fungi, such as horse’s hoof (Fomes fomentarius) discovered at Star Carr, could also be used as tinder and to preserve smouldering embers while on the move, although this video demonstrates how quickly a fire can be ignited with dry materials. One can confidently predict that flint and iron pyrites would also have been used to generate sparks.
Werner Pfeiffer macht Feuer, Steinzeittagen 2014, Archäologisches Freilichtmuseum Oerlinghausen www.afm-oerlinghausen.de
◊ Whistlestop tour of the Mesolithic | Pay Hadley (York Museums Trust) | 04-May-2014
Five minutes and thirty seconds of 6,000 years that represent the Mesolithic—after the retreat of the glaciers to the onset of farming, domestication,sedentism, secondary milky products and ceramics.
◊ Late Glacial and Mesolithic in the UK | Kristian Pedersen (Edinburgh University) lecture
This lecture focuses on the English–Scottish border region but provides an excellent overview of knowledge, challenges and opportunities. As well as tying material culture into climatic change events, Kristian also provides definitions and explanations for some material culture nomenclature in a European context, like Hamburgian, Creswellian, etc. | 48 min Jan 2011
◊ Mesolith – Building the First House _ IADT/UCD Short 2013 | University College Dublin | Published on 18-Nov-2013, YouTube
Director: Greg Colley | Duration: 6 mins
A short documentary following the journey from scattered materials to completed structures to recreate Ireland’s Mesolithic technology. A collaboration between Greg Colley and the production team, Dr Graeme Martin Warren and the UCD School of Archaeology.
Dr Warren is a College Lecturer in the School of Archaeology, University College Dublin, he was appointed in 2002 to expand the School’s practical teaching skills and provide a specialism in early prehistory. His primary research is on the early prehistoric archaeology of Ireland and Britain in European context. He focuses on hunter-gatherers and the adoption of agriculture (Mesolithic & Neolithic).
◊ Sea Level Rise: 13,000 bp to 5,000 bp in the British Mesolithic | TemporalMapping.org
Animated output ofpaleoclimate model at 30 arc-second, 20 year resolution, 200 years per second. Sea level is calibrated to Global Sea Level estimates with data points at 1000 year intervals. This model does not yet account forisostacy (land rise), or glaciation | 48 sec (no audio) Jun 2011
◊ 810 Radiocarbon Dates of the British Upper Paleolithic/Mesolithic | TemporalMapping.org
Animation visualising calibrated radiocarbon dates from the Council for British Archaeology’s Radiocarbon Database | 40 sec (no audio) Dec 2011
◊ Seabed Prehistory | Wessex Archaeology
Archaeologists have created a 3D visualisation of a whole prehistoric landscape now submerged 20 metres under the English Channel, and 8 miles off the West Sussex coast. This is how they believe it may have looked over 8000 years ago, based upon environmental and geophysical surveys; an estuary populated by families living from the river, sea and land; a river surrounded by salt marsh and forest | 4m 16s (with audio) 2006
◊ Yorkshire 9000BC | Star Carr Project, University of York
Here’s a great short video fly-through the Mesolithic landscape of Lake Flixton, Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire, England. Ongoing excavations at Star Carr and Flixton Island are the current manifestation of research since the 1950s. This CGI video incorporates recordings of what the post-glacial landscape may have sounded like 11,000 years ago, when hunter-gatherers shared their environment with wild ox, bears, beavers, horses, boar, wolves and a hazelnut or two | 1m 35s (silent intro) 2013
“The model is based on pollen cores and archaeological excavations (including the currently active ones). It was created for the Yorkshire Museum’s new ‘Prehistoric Yorkshire’ exhibition in partnership with members of the Star Carr Project at the University of York Department of Archaeology. Sound design is by Jon Hughes.”