Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hjerl Hede
Settlement Stone Age /Neolithic Age
School Classes

Reconstruction of Stone Age house and a field with fences.

The Stone Age settlement at Hjerl Hede is a reconstruction of a settlement from bondestenalderen= Neolithic Age ab. 2800 BC. Upon the settlement are made some experimental archaeology via practical tests of various techniques and tools based upon archaeological findings - which can bring a better understanding of the conditions of life in the Neolithic Age. During the last decade the experiments have primarily been reconstructions around production of flint tools, ceramics, skin tanning, making a dugout, copying Stone Age clothes, making bows and arrows, archery and hunting techniques and cooking methods.

Reconstruction of Stone Age house

The Stone Age settlement at Hjerl Hede has been occupied since 1955, and every summer is shown how daily life was ab. 5000 years ago. The present houses in the settlement haven been constructed in consultation with the National Museum in 1989 and 1994 from archaeological findings from Limensgaard and Grødbygaard at Bornholm.

Stone Age Oven

Ab. 4000 BC the knowledge of agriculture and cattle breeding came to Denmark. From being wandering hunters, people now settled down permanently. The settlements were placed in areas with a varied landscape, where there were good possibilities for farming, animal husbandry, hunting, fishing and gathering wild plants and berries.

The settlers first cleared and burnt some forest in order to create farm land for cultivation. Findings show that they used a primitve plough called an ard, and they cultivated rye and wheat.The Stone Age farmer had pigs, cattle, sheep and goats. From archaeological excavations are seen that the farming demanded new tools like sharp-edged flint axes, flint sickle and clay vessels. Later, ab. 1700 BC the Danish people were really farmers, the tamed animals were used more effectively, the cattle was milked and the fields were ploughed with wagons and draught animals. The wool of sheep was more than earlier used for clothes.

The Danes were farmers, and the main part of the population continued to be for the next ab. 6000 years. First at the breakthrough of the industrialism in the late 1800s the Danish farmer society began to march towards the industrial society, and up till the 1930s Denmark was still an agricultural country.

oak boats/dugouts

At the Stone Age Settlement at Hjerl Hede is each summer educations for school classes and other teams, who want to learn about life in Stone Age.

At the settlement are fire places , oven and flint-work, tanning and other working processes. The classes at the stone age settlement are meant to bring the students a feeling of technology and life conditions ab. 5000 years ago, where flint, bone and wood were among the most important raw materials, and where food and clothes had to be obtained from wild animals and plants in the nature, which surrounded the humans.

photo Hjerl Hede: grethe bachmann

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