Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England.

People always asked me,

                “How many years of food history do you look at?”

For a long time, I have said, “about 1000.”

 

That all changed with the Stonehenge Project.

For the summer of 2018, the site at Stonehenge ran a wonderful exhibition called ‘Feast’.

For the last weekend of the exhibition the site wanted a live cookery demonstration based on the food archaeology of the nearby finds and what (little) we know of Neolithic cookery.

The food was fun, using the evidence from the finds to put together food stuff that might have gone together. Meat stews with milk in. Cakes with honey and hazel nuts. Meat roasted in the fiery coals.

It was all great, but for me the best part of the journey was getting to grips with the technology of the time to make all this happen.

A meal from 4000 years ago; made, cooked and eaten without any metal in your world.

It turns everything upside down! Make a pot to put in its side to use as an oven.

Not too difficult. Clay is mud, make coils, make a pot, fire it in a bonfire and you have simple ceramics.

Now make a chopping board to process your meat. So, here is a stone axe, go an cut me a tree down!

Makes spits out of wood? Make them ‘d’ section from hazel poles so the meat does not fall off. All of this had to be done using the technology of the time. A wonderful, thought provoking learning curve.

ember roasted meat

We were so grateful to ‘Time Team’ expert, Phil Harding, for making us our flint knives, so we could actually cut things up.

By the way, it all tasted great.

Flint tools

Barley stew.

Honey and hazelnut cakes.