Listen to the sounds of the environment as you read on…
The smell of smoke gets stronger as you follow the path alongside the river. You come to a patch of burning ground – a fire has been started deliberately. People used fires to clear areas of woodland for new growth, attracting grazing animals such as deer. These animals were important – providing food and materials for making clothing and tools.
As well as bone and antler people also used stone to make tools. Many years from now archaeologists will call this period the Mesoltihic, meaning the Middle Stone Age. Locally available chert stone was used alongside flint. Flint is the superior material but isn’t found locally so it was much harder to get hold of.
Soil samples from excavations at Lismore Fields contained microscopic charcoal. The evidence suggests that people were using fire as a tool to change the environment between 10,000 -6,000 years ago. This type of woodland clearance encourages new growth and can increase the diversity and plant and animals resources. This shows that the act of managing the environment and clearing land is not limited to farming cultures.