Spacious circular hut made of light branches of trees (Saplings)
Other lighter branches woven across them to give it that “standing” feature!
Skins, grass, leaves or bushes taken from Ireland’s finest forestry gives it that spectacular “7000 BC” look.
Animal hide or gut tie technique..very stone age man!
Centre of the house topped off with the finest hearth or fireplace hand dug with a stick
Huge communal swimming pool/boat shed/food source
Yup if this was 7,000 BC this was your equivalent of a mansion today in Malahide. Congratulations owner….you are a millionaire! (please note there was no such thing as currency back then hence, no numbers, hence, no such thing as a million, hence, no such thing as a millionaire)
No, but early mesolithic houses were as simple as that. The mesolithic people lived near rivers and lakes or the coast. This allowed them to use water for travel, to wash and as a food source. Think of these people as Nomads. They travel when they have exhausted the resources in the area. This is why mesolithic houses were never built to be permanent structures.
Food & Family
These people were hunter-gatherers. The bones and pollen found in the Mount Sandel area gives us a clue as to how they lived
- They hunted animals such as wild boar and bids such as duck, pigeon and grouse
- They caught salmon, trout and eel in the rivers
- They also gathered berries and hazelnuts in the forests
They cooked food on spits– two upright sticks on either side with a stick across the top.
Work & Tools
The main work of the people was providing food through hunting and fishing. Hunting was done with spears and arrows. Fishing was done with a spear or harpoon. These tools had a sharp head known as flintstones. So these rocks known as flin…..wait!….Flintstones??
Moving on.. Flint is a hard but brittle rock that was used by mesolithic man. It was perfect for them because it was easy to shape. Axes were used to chop down the branches for the house and wood for the fires.
Clothes were made from the skins of animals. The skins were stretched on the ground and stone scrapers were used to clean them. They were sewn together using bone needles. Now it is often said that the greatest thing since sliced pan was this and that… that the wheel or fire revolutionized the world. But what about the case for the needle?
Here is an excerpt from Andrew Marr’s History of the World about the invention of the bone needle:
30,000 years ago the Neanderthals became extinct, and modern humans; clever, clannish and remarkably violent were ready to rule the planet. Except that now our ruthless determination came up against something rather more formidable than the Neanderthals. Around 20,000 years ago, temperatures plunged even further. We were forced once again to adapt or die. Adversity favours the versatile, and this time a very homely piece of technology would make all the difference.
This is a needle, made out of bone. It’s about 17,000 years old. It’s got a beautifully made little eye in it, very similar to the needles you may have at home, and what a needle allows you to do is to wear not animal skins, but clothes that actually fit.
The invention of the needle would help revolutionise human life. Wearing sewn clothing in layers, we could huddle and judder our way through the harsh ice-age winters. We could be out, tracking animals further, hunting for longer, better predators. We had arrows, yes, and spears of course, but the needle was the great, unexpected life-or-death breakthrough.
Modern humans were proving to be one of the most resilient species on the planet, something new under the sun.
So that’s it for mesolithic man. They had remarkably clever houses, along with a powerful drive for survival which is seen in their habits, tools and clannish life. In the words of Mtv Cribs…”you don’t have to go but you gotta get up outta here..peace”
Before you do go..check out the work of UCD Students building a replica of a Mesolithic House and also check out more blogs on mesolithic man on this site