MY PREHISTORIC EPIPHANY

The main use of the word Epiphany refers to the moment when God revealed himself to the Gentiles in the presence of the Magi. The word, however, has broader meaning and may refer to a very sudden and overwhelming insight or revelation in the passage of life. I had a prehistoric archaeological epiphany the moment I found my first stone point.

One early evening during the Lupine season when in 1983 David Keenlyside was opening his extensive dig at the Jones Site at Greenwich in Saint Peter’s Bay, I visited my friend Trevor who was a student excavator. We walked along the beach and while he shared the excitement of digging his first trench with me we looked down at the shingle beach and there, sparkling with a reddish glow, was this point. It was my first prehistoric find ever!!! I was ravished!!!! At that moment my aesthetic life was very significantly changed in a lasting way.

In the next ten years or so I would find some rare and important – even spectacular!!! – tools and weapons from much older periods. Here are some of them. Note: they are not to scale in the photomontage!

However, as blown away as I was by finding them, the rapture of finding the first point ever was not repeated.

In my next post I will explore how prehistoric tools and weapons were made out of various materials at hand. I will also examine how certain stones, that broke in a predictable fashion, became the favourite raw material for what would be an ever-evolving tool and weapon industry that lasted 2.6 million years! In North America we saw the last 12,000 or so years of that tradition during the time it was populated at the end of the Ice Age.

 

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