I always thought I was born several decades too late. Apparently I was born a few millennia too late. During our Neolithic meal exercise I learned I have a knack for grinding grains by hand. Today, this seems a useless skill unless I decide to go live with some Amish colony that produces their own food. The practice of grinding the grain as finely as possible made me realize how remarkable our society is and how disconnected we are to our ancestors. Who in the West really knows all the labor that would go into food processing if it weren’t for machinery? We live in such an advanced age that the human is becoming almost obsolete. Some grinding machination could have performed the same task I did in seconds. In contrast, I spent an hour to produce just a handful of grain.

Looking over at my teammates I also learned that when manpower is the only power, strength in numbers really applies. One more member in our group really did make a difference. While two of us processed meat and fruit, and I worked on the grain, we could send another group member to scout for precious materials (stones and leaves) and even steal from less numerous groups. Even in our small, short, hands-on experience, the larger population made our group stronger and more secure from others who might steal from us (which we would have deserved). It was also easy to see how discord could quickly make our group weaker and open to external threats. It’s not hard to see how fragile that efficiency is when everyone has such a vital, direct function, from king to grain-processer. Any disruption and people starve.