As part of Consuming Prehistory Guerilla Archaeology are inviting audiences to ‘Eat the Past’ this year at the following events.
Bluedot July 19th-21st
Lunar July 27th-29th
Green Man: Settlers August 13th-15th
Green Man: Einsteins Garden August August 16th-19th
‘Feast Festival’ at Stonehenge itself September 1st to 2nd – details to follow.
What we eat lies at the very centre of our lives, from sharing meals to counting calories, we spend much of our days (and nights) thinking about food.
But what do you really know about Palaeodiets, food intolerances, fads and fashions?
Focusing on the feasts of Stonehenge let us take you right back to when modern farming began, when we left our foraging and hunting past behind us and adopted new innovative ways of eating (see the temporary exhibition ‘Feast’ at Stonehenge and videos for more information).
Guerilla Archaeology invites you to find out what ancient festival goers ate at our Stonehenge inspired event. You can enjoy a prehistoric shopping experience in our pop-up supermarket, ‘Stonehengebury’s’ and discover the new imported foods of the early farmers.
Our shop keepers will introduce you to the animals and plants that caused a food revolution five thousand years ago. You can have-a-go at planning an ancient feast with these new ingredients and explore how to prepare, cook and present your meal using Stone Age know how. We also stock starter farmer kits so you can ‘grow your own’ crops and become early adopters of our brand new breeds of stock.
- Ready Steady Cook with Operation Nightingale – An organisation that works with injured veterans, schools, colleges, the probation service, community groups etc, using archaeology to empower participants.
- Bryn Celli Ddu Open Day 16th June – Bryn Celli Ddu – the Mound in the Dark Grove – is probably the best-known prehistoric monument on Anglesey, and is one of the most evocative archaeological sites in Britain. Like other prehistoric tombs on Anglesey it was constructed to protect and pay respect to the remains of the ancestors.
What sets Bryn Celli Ddu apart from the other tombs on Anglesey, is that it is the only one to be accurately aligned to coincide with the rising sun on the longest day of the year. At dawn on midsummer solstice, shafts of light from the rising sun penetrate down the passageway to light the inner burial chamber.
More details coming soon!
It finally feels like spring is getting here. Plants are blooming, I am only wearing one cardigan, and the shops are selling reduced Easter eggs. But what made it really feel like spring had sprung was seeing my first lambs of the year. Being based in Wales, there are plenty to be found!
How cute are they?
Sheep have been essential to the UK economy and way of life for thousands of years, so it can come as a surprise when people learn that they are in fact not native to Britain. Their wild ancestors’ native range is in the Near East, and domestication would have first happened in this area.
Sheep were introduced to Britain during the Neolithic as part of the transition to a farming economy (from hunter-fisher-gather communities). They arrive in South-east England first, nearly six thousand years ago (about 3930 BC). These new introductions would have been particularly valuable food resources, providing both meat and milk. It appears that sheep in Britain do not become woolly until the Bronze Age, but more research is needed in this area.
At prehistoric Durrington Walls (near Stonehenge) we know that dairy products were being consumed as their fats have been found inside pottery vessels. These could have come from processed foods such as butter or cheese made from cow’s and/or sheep’s milk. These porous pots act like sponges and suck up residues from the products processed within them, which archaeologists can then analyse.
Watching the spring lambs frolic I wonder about our Neolithic ancestors. Were their lambs born at the same time of year as ours today? Did their arrival herald the onset of warmer weather and a busy season? Through the archaeological data we can not only learn about what people in the past were eating but also think about what their interactions with domestic animals were like on a day-to-day basis and at different points of the year.
This website will keep keep you up to date with the news and events of a new project, “Consuming Prehistory” which builds upon the AHRC funded ‘Feeding Stonehenge Project’. Food lies at the centre of human existence; people, where possible, eat every day, to satisfy physical needs but also as part of cultural and social interactions. The ‘Feeding Stonehenge Project’ offered a range of intriguing archaeological case studies that demonstrated how humanities themed research connects with, draws upon and stimulates the scientific disciplines. The project revealed how, in direct response to social questions posed by archaeologists about the site, a wide range of disciplines, from biology and biochemistry, geology and geoscience to organic and inorganic chemistry, were employed in innovative scientific solutions. In this new project will embed these twin themes, food and scientific enquiry, in order to share the research results with new audiences.