A Conversation for Archaeologists
cooldonbejasus Started conversation Feb 10, 2008
I recently watched an episode of Time Team, the popular UK archaeology programme, which was based on a dig close to the Western shore of the Outer Hebrides, off the NW coast of Scotland.
Part of the theme of the programme includes "experimental archaeology", and in this case involved an "expert" showing how those pathetic and primitive (Bronze Age)people would have had to live on limpets gathered from the shore. The"expert" forced an unfortunate presenter to hack a limpet from a rock, and we all watched as he gagged whilst trying to down the raw contents.
I spent my childhood in NW Sutherland, in roughly the same geographical area.
We regularly took limpets back to the house to put them near the fire and cook them in the half-shell. It doesn't take seconds - the perfect convenience snack, there being no shops within miles at that time.
We also, even as kids, had the sense to remove the black lump of gut before putting it in our mouths. The remaining flesh was as tough as old boots, but kept you with a nice, salty chewing-gum until the next proper meal came along.
I have loved the Time-team programme, but just this one example of a completely groundless supposition has made me lose some of my faith in its value, and to be deeply sceptical of many other suppositions which archaeologists make.
Given that the "Midden Heaps" uncovered are supposed to tell the story of ordinary life for many ancient peoples, I believe just one small mistake may have been made about how they used to keep the kids quiet until dinner-time
Hannah-Music Posted Aug 14, 2008
i love time team they play episodes of it here in Australia! but at the moment they are older ones. not that that matters. its a great show...
im hoping to become an archaeologist when i finish school and university...
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