In this section in our class, we were able to make use of many materials we made in our previous class when we made the mold for oil lamps and pots for brewing beer. While I’m sure most people are going to discuss the process of making beer, i’m going to focus on the other activities we did.

One of my favorite activities was experimenting with the oil lamps we made. We figured out that in order for the lamps to burn properly, you must add a specific amount of oil. The more oil the better, since we had to insert braided string and soak it thoroughly in order for it to work. Some people had trouble, since they did not put enough oil in their lamp and their fire burned through the string extremely fast. The goal is to get the fire to linger to optimize its usage as a lamp, like they did back then before electricity. I could not imagine living without light bulbs and instead having to rely on such lamps for light.

Another activity that was more artistic, was making our own paint from rocks and painting designs onto the wall (“ancient graffiti”). For this, we needed to hammer or grind down pieces of rock into powder. It turned out either a yellow/brown or dark red. Next, we experimented to see which method worked best: mixing the powder with egg whites or simply using oil. I found that using oil was more effective for me, since my color turned out quite nicely. The person next to me was using egg whites and struggled to find a good consistency to use to paint. Some people even painted with their hands to mimic what people did back when painted art on the walls of caves.


Rachel Latterich