Our Teuko kids visited the Museum of Prehistory of Tautavel, in France. This Museum is a complex built around the “Man of Tautavel”, a Homo Heidelbergensis. It retraces the history of Humanity in Europe since the first Europeans. Let’s go back in time and discover the prehistoric foodie part of our Human Odyssey!
In a beautiful area surrounded by mountains, 450,000 years ago, you could meet this “Man of Tautavel”. Aged twenty, he was 5 ft 3in tall (1m60) and had all the characteristics of the first Europeans: a receding forehead, a ridge above the orbits, prominent cheekbones and a forward jaw.
The “Man of Tautavel” proved to be an excellent hunter of large herbivores. During the cold periods, between 550,000 and 500,000 years ago, with wooden pikes, the men mostly hunted reindeers. In the more temperate periods about 500,000 years ago, the favorite animals were the fallow deer and the red deer. Around 450,000 years ago, the fauna is very varied, and the climate must have changed from temperate and wet to cold and dry. Therefore, the men hunted horses, bison, mouflons…. and even wooly rhinoceroses!
The “Man of Tautavel”‘s prominent cheekbones and a forward jaw indicate that he was eating mostly berries, roots and raw meat. But some archeologic artifacts indicate that the men were starting to use fire!
There are two Prehistoric ways to produce fire. The first one that was demonstrated by the museum’s staff was the friction with a Silex and another mineral rock called marcasite. The other way is by using the friction between two pieces of wood. Our Teuko kids tried this latest technique, and well, even if they started to adopt the technique, they did not succeed in the task. Again, it’s not easy to be a prehistoric man! 🙂
Prehistoric Lunchbox Essentials
What about making a Prehistoric lunchbox? Here are the food items you would need to include:
- Meat: it would not be safe to put raw meat (and you may not like a steak tartare in your lunchbox), so what about a slice of roast beef… being pinky and juicy, it looks like it’s a slice that was cut by the Man of Tautavel ;). You can always check food alternatives if your kid is not into meat at all.
- Roots: include carrots, turnip, beets, radishes or even fennel!
- Berries: blueberries, strawberries or blackberries
- Drink: water!