6th July - 31st July 2015: The Ice Age Island ~ Jersey


During July I was back on Jersey for the final year of the Ice Age Island Project sponsored by Capco Trust and supported by the Tourism Development Fund (TDF). As last year, I was permanently located at the La Hougue Bie working as a Specialist in Prehistoric Technologies with the museum team there, including Jersey Heritage curator Olga Finch. I was supporting the archaeologists and students from University College London, British Museum, University of Southampton and University of Manchester who were working at the "Pop-Up Museum" location at Les Varines.

Despite the poor weather this year, a number of flintknapping workshops took place over four days throughout the month and one of the younger participates (Max) created his own blog of the experience

I found some time to create a replica of the oil (deer fat) lamp found in Lascaux Cave, using a sandstone I picked up from North Scotland.

The original Le Brûloir de Lascaux was found buried in the floor of a shaft by Abbé André Glory and has since been dated to around 17,000 years ago. It can be viewed in the National Prehistory Museum in Les Eyzies.

Like the original, the upper surface of the handle of my replica is decorated with abstract signs of chevrons fitted into each other.

However on the back I carved the head of an Ibex, inspired by another lamp from Grotte de la Mouthe.

 

I also carved a Bull Roarer (or Rhombus, Bramadera, Matapu, Turndun) from a piece of horse bone and tested it in various places, including at Le Dolmen du Couperon (below). It is believed the origins of the Bull Roarer date to the Palaeolithic and found at sites in Ukraine, Germany and Denmark, plus a fine red ochre covered and incised with linear motifs example from the Magdalenian layers at La Roche de Lalinde (Dordogne), which was the inspiration for the one I made. Play the video and notice the characteristic roaring vibrato noise it makes, with notable sound modulations occurring from the rotation of the roarer along its longitudinal axis.

On 13th August Sara Palmer from BBC Radio Jersey interviewed myself and the Ice Age Island team. She asked me about my role as an experimental archaeologist and flintknapper at La Hougue Bie and about many of the replica artefacts and animal hides I had on display.

Click to hear interview (5mins) >>

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