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British History

Prehistoric Britain



Over the next five weeks, we will be taking a trip back in time exploring the different eras which tell the story of our island. Today, we are going to start with the fascinating and exciting prehistoric Britain...


What was prehistoric Britain like?


The story of prehistoric Britain began when the first humans arrived in Britain. It ended when the Romans conquered the ancient Britons and Britain became part of the Roman Empire.

The earliest humans were hunter-gatherers. They survived by hunting animals and finding food to eat. Then, very gradually people learned new skills. First they learned to herd animals and grow crops. Later they discovered the secrets of making bronze and iron.

Prehistoric people couldn't read or write, but they were astonishing builders. Their tombs, forts and monuments have survived for thousands of years.


How did hunter-gathers survive?


Stone Age hunter-gatherers had to catch or find everything they ate. They moved from place to place in search of food.

Early Stone Age people hunted with sharpened sticks. Later, they used bows and arrows and spears tipped with flint or bone. People gathered nuts and fruits and dug up roots. They went fishing using nets and harpoons.

Stone Age people cut up their food with sharpened stones and cooked it on a fire. They used animal skins to make clothes and shelters. After a good day’s hunting people could feast on meat. But the next day they had to start finding food again!

In the early Stone Age, people made simple hand-axes out of stones. They made hammers from bones or antlers and they sharpened sticks to use as hunting spears.

Take a trip back in time to find out what life would have been like during The Stone Age...

It would be simply impossible to cram millions of years of History in to one session so today we will be focusing on the concept of survival...


So, how did they survive?!


The Stone Age is called the Stone Age because the tools were made of stone.

The earliest humans managed to survive by using sharp stone tools to kill animals, such as mammoths. They moved around from place to place in order to stay safe and warm, according to the time of year.

The dead animals provided food to eat and skins to keep warm. Homes were even made using animal skins! Their bones were another useful material for making tools, such as needles, to sew animal skins together...



Why was hunting so important?

Animals were the main source of food. They would eat all of the animal. When the meat was stripped off the bones, the bones would be smashed so the marrow could be eaten from the inside. Marrow is high in fat and would have been a good energy source.

Did you know?

Some archaeologists believe that early humans would have cut open the stomach of an animal and eaten their last meal!


A question of life or death...

Good tools were the difference between living and dying in the Stone Age. A good tool meant that you could hunt successfully. The meat and skin could clothe and feed your family. Weapons changed; spears, axes, bows and arrows were developed to make hunting quicker and better.



Your Task 




You have just woken up in the middle of nowhere

You are naked!

You are hungry.

You are tired.

You are thirsty.


Using the templates provided, can you put together a survival plan to endure The Stone Age?

You will need to firstly complete the problem solving activity below to prioritise your actions before designing an outfit, a weapon and a shelter...

Use the internet to research further and present your survival plan in your own way! 


Extension - Why not write a diary entry about your experience?

The fun continues...learn how to draw a wooly mammoth here!


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