Leticia’s Reflection #2

The activities that we have completed in this second session include lighting oil lamps, making bread and beer mash, carrying out Neolithic food preparation and creating paint for rock art; all these undertakings were very much enjoyable. For the oil lamps, our class made wicks by taking three long pieces of cotton thread and braiding them together. The wicks ended up to be roughly half the length of our hands. We poured a few tablespoons of olive oil into the lamps then put the wicks into the lamps, letting the cotton soak the oil. I left the end of the wick, about half of an inch, unsoaked because that is where I would ignite the fire that would burn the oil lamp. The dry end of the wick was barely peeking over the stout of the lamp when I lit it with a twenty-first century lighter. It was a success- the wick burned slowly as it was supposed to happen. The class had extra time to take on another project that we were supposed to do in the beginning of the semester- paint making for rock art. We were given cardinal and yellow color pigments in the form of powder and with a modern-day paint brush, we mixed the pigment with the leftover olive oil to make a sort of oil paint. The task was very simple and quick to complete. With the homemade paint, we decided to paint our oil lamps (after dumping out the oil and wicks from them) and the clay figurines we made in a previous class (since there was not enough time to go out and gather stones from around campus). The only issue about the paint is that it does not remain long: the following week after painting, the paint came off my oil lamp when I touched it.

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