10,000BC: How to live in the Stone Age and release your inner cavewoman

10,000BC: How to live in the Stone Age and release your inner cavewoman
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10,000BC: How to live in the Stone Age and release your inner cavewoman

You’ve probably heard of television shows like Survivor and Naked and Afraid, where people decide to give up their homes, technology, and outside world contact for the chance to win money and prove they can survive in the wild.

Apparently, these shows are a huge hit, and a new one called 10,000BC will entertain those who enjoy the raw survival skills people develop on those shows.

The series will show how a group of 24 men and women stayed in Bulgaria for two months, living life as Paleolithic humans did. Each person lived in a hut and fended for themselves in trying to find food. They had to learn how to hunt, fish, or forage for the two whole months, most likely having had to make their own weapons as well.

The host of the show, archaeology student Klint Janulis, is using his experience of his ongoing research on the Stone Age. As the men and women make new lives for themselves for the next two months, Janulis will observe every person on the show.

Janulis has recently built an exact replica of a Stone Age camp in Oxfordshire in order to study the design of a Paleolithic camp and to aid the research efforts of other students at the University of Oxford Paleotechnology Society.

The real value of the show lies in whether we can kill, gut and cook a boar.
The real value of the show lies in whether we can kill, gut and cook a boar.

 

Cut and thrust: Stone Age tools and flint blades arranged on an animal pelt
Cut and thrust: Stone Age tools and flint blades arranged on an animal pelt

Recently, a reporter went to the replica camp to get an idea of what the reality stars went through, which is also a sneak peek in what our ancestors went through as well. The reporter found all over the ground at the camp site flint axes and clubs that were carved out of antlers. There was also venison cooking on the fire, along with utensils carved from flint and stone near the site.

Although this is the site that Janulis created, it is almost an exact replica of the area in which the stars got to live. However, the stars were given pre-made tools for hunting wild boar and deer. They were taught how to mend the tools that they were given in case they broke. If they did not learn it, they would have to go meatless for weeks, enduring a weak diet throughout their stay.

The biggest difference for the stars was that they had to learn everything from scratch, whereas hunter-gatherers would have been taught at a young age, passing it on from generation to generation.

Janulis said that none of the cast was a hunter so that made it even more difficult to learn how to survive. However, he said that the cast learned quite fast and knew what had to be done. The group was divided into two tribes which they had to elect a leader.

One tribe’s leader, John, had the females cleaning up the camp and generally making them take on a more traditional role. Janulis said that this is what John had in mind, thinking back to what hunter-gatherers might have done in the Stone Age.

This action he took as a leader was kind of a glimpse into how some men still think to this day – that women should take on traditional roles.

The other tribe’s leader, who happened to be a woman, was nominated. Janulis said that Suzanne took a whole different approach to lead her tribe than John did. He said that she never once asserted her dominance over the tribe members. She worked with them, problem-solving with the rest of the members and knowing how to make things work well.


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P. Natasha Covers Classical Archaeology news and has been with Histecho since 2017. She has a Master's degree in MA Archaeology from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting program. A California native, she also holds a Bachelor of science in molecular biology and a Master of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.