Live Like a Hunter Gatherer

Live Like a Hunter Gatherer
Naomi Walmsley, illustrated by Mia Underwood
Button Books

If you think that early humans were not very clever, or that they frequently said, ‘ugg’ and not much else, then this book will dispel those myths along with providing a considerable amount of fascinating information about how they lived, starting with a map of the Stone Age people’s movements and a timeline showing the three main periods of the Stone Age.

Readers are in the company of an eight-year old girl from a fictional tribe who at various times throughout the book, talks directly to us, sharing her feelings about such things as fishing trips and beginning to use her own bow and arrows. We also get a glimpse of how our stone age ‘friend’ might have passed her time during a typical day, sharing her feelings too,

and realise that the everyday needs of our Stone Age ancestors’ were quite similar to ours – how to keep warm, where to sleep safely and what to eat and drink.

There are spreads on how those basic needs were met, and we learn how they made use of everything from an animal hunted; such a creature provided food yes, but also the means of making weapons, tools, jewellery, clothes and more. Constant danger surrounded these ancestors of ours and without doctors or hospitals, they had only the knowledge of healers in their particular tribe and the medicines nature provided; it’s hardly surprising that the average life of a typical Stone Age person was just thirty five years.

It wasn’t however a life without any fun: early humans made music, engaged in occasional celebrations and made art in the form of small sculptures and paintings especially on cave walls.

Mia Underwood brings all these activities and more to life in her detailed illustrations large and small; while in addition to providing a wealth of factual information, author Naomi Walmsley (who is a forest school and bushcraft instructor), also gives step-by-step craft activities and recipes offering readers first-hand experience of some vital Stone Age skills including making a Mesolithic shelter, some fat lamps, a digging stick and creating cave art.

An intriguing, gently educative resource for home and primary school users.

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