Living in the stone age

©2023 michael raven

Thinking too much… Trying to get inside the head of the pre-agrarian hunter and gatherer. What kinds of things would matter to me?

  • General weather (Holy Moly, ma, it is hecking cold/hot). Follow the herds maybe, some critter who has yet to mistrust “instinct” (which is the nonsense word we use when we haven’t figured out what the motivation for any animal might be). Seasons; for comfort, for food supply, and we probably noticed when it is dark for subjectively longer periods is when the snow comes and vis-à-vis.
  • Does it cut? I whacked food over the head until it was dead, now how do I get the meat out? Can I poke it through the heart with a cutting hurty thing to make it one or two whacks instead of fifty?
  • Hey, this stick with a hurty thingy works great. Let’s make it longer so the boar’s hurty thingy doesn’t make me leak stuff when it pokes me in the tummy. Better yet, make it so it flies and really keeps the boar’s hurty thing away from me.
  • If I eat it, will it kill me?
  • Wow… dude… it didn’t… kill me…, but now I paint cave walls without caves or paint. Whoo! Gnarly.
  • George is dead, so don’t eat those ones.
  • Hey, that big giant stone hasn’t moved in a while. Let’s call this Big Stone Place. Or George’s Rock because that is where he died.
  • Hey, this hollowed out object holds water. The boar’s skull makes a kickass water-holder. I shall call it “Tim” (the first name for a cup or bowl didn’t stick).

Keep in mind that my thinking is limited to pre-farming, pre-husbandry (widespread, I’m sure there were some synergistic relationships with animals, such as early dogs).

How would these limitations inform your worldview if you live during such a period? Your cosmology? Are there any really big ones I overlooked (not the fussy details, just big picture stuff)?

And… apologies for the sad attempts at humor.

7 thoughts on “Living in the stone age

  1. I did find it funny. I wonder what the female version of this list would be. I’d guess if we assume they are mostly gatherers and mothers in this particular group, they would be mostly concerned with what foods they could eat/not eat. Where they could give birth without being eaten by a wild animal, and perhaps how to protect their children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder if there was a modern patriarchal system like that, or if everybody leveraged any skill they might have just to help the group survive. I wonder just how much our hypotheses are reflective of our modern biases (the past 3000 years or so of modern).

      Liked by 1 person

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