During the Neolithic Food Preparation, creating and obtaining the most calories was the goal of the day. I never realized how much work people in ancient times had to put into their meals since they did not have the convenience of microwaves, stoves, refrigerators, etc. The class was split up into many groups and each group was given a pumpkin, grain, and a raw leg of lamb. With all of these items and a couple supporting tools (dangerously sharp obsidian, leather wrap, and whatever we could find), each group was supposed to prepare a meal up until the point of actually cooking it. Oh yeah, other teams could come by and try to steal your food.
My group isolated ourselves in a cave-like area surrounded on three sides by a short wall but one side was completely open. My initial job was to cut the pumpkin up into many different tiny pieces suitable for eating. In the beginning I would get chunks of the pumpkin into medium size pieces but knew I had to get them smaller. I was stuck and was not sure how I would do this since the pumpkin was very hard to break at that point. I rummaged through the supplies area and found a very large piece of obsidian and thought to myself “hey, this could work.” I wrapped half of the obsidian in leather wrap to avoid gashes to my hand and smashed the medium sized pieces of pumpkin until they split up into little chunks. The rock exceeded my expectations.
Eventually I wanted to make things interesting so I thought of some plans to steal calories from other groups. Another teammate and I went over to the nearest group to ask them questions as a distraction while another teammate went in to steal some food. The plan was flawless except he didn’t get his hands on the food and we came up empty handed. If that worked I would have been really happy. Regardless of that failure, the Neolithic Food Preparation was really awesome and I learned a lot about preparing ancient dishes. Personally I am glad I was born in today’s modern era but now if I suddenly traveled back in time to the days of old I think I would be able to survive with everything I’ve learned in this class (hopefully).
– Alex Brauser