Jul 14 2013

A Stone Age Treasure

Published by at 9:03 am under Expeditions and Experiences

Quite recently there was a quite big rockslide in the mountains where Iive. A lot of trees were killed and splintered by huge rocks thrashing down. I went up to have a look and it struck me what an enormous resource this kind of disturbance would give a person or group without metal tools.

The splintered trees can relatively easily be made into skis, cutting boards, paddles, bows, arrows and a host of other useful items, which normally can require a lot of work with a stone chopping tool, sometimes even with a metal one.

Many of the birches have had their bark broken open and ruined, but it is still usable for torches and firelighting. The occasional one is also good enough for crafts or thatching. The advantage is that you can skin the whole tree without felling it yourself first.

In some areas these rockslides will expose good tool-stone. In this case the stone seemed mostly usable for very crude tools.

When the path of the slide starts to recover from the destruction, raspberries and hazel are likely to be colonizers along with herbs like dandelion. They will in time stabilize the slide and produce quite a bit of food due to the sunny and nutrient rich conditions.

In my opinion, these kind of natural desturbances were virtually indispensable for stone age forest people who didn’t have good stone axes.

Regards
Torjus

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “A Stone Age Treasure”

  1. Prueon 15 Jul 2013 at 12:30 am

    Seeing life through ancient eyes everything is an opportunity and everything has meaning even what we see today a disasters. I feel these events renew the land knocking down or washing away the old so the new can thrive, nature is not static she is always vital as we once where.
    I’m glad some can still see the truth of it. 🙂

  2. Maton 25 Jul 2013 at 5:41 am

    Interesting post.
    There are no mountains around here, but you still come across a splintered spruce now and again, especially after a big wind storm. However I dont think I’ve ever seen one with splinters large enough for anything like skis… although I haven’t been paying too much attention to these kinds of things.

    Beavers ofcourse as you know provide a huge number of trees of any size. In the fall especially they start to cut down large aspens. It is easy to tell by the wood chips what trees were felled recently, so you know you have fresh wood that had not had the chance to deteriorate.

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