Презентация "British Prehistory" 9 класс

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Britain’s Prehistory Britain has not always been an island. It became one after the end of the last ice age. The temperature rose and the ice cap melted, flooding the lower-lying land that is now under the North Sea and the English Channel. The Ice Age was not just one long equally cold period. There were warmer times when the ice cap retreated, and colder periods when the ice cap reached as far as the River Thames. The first evidence of human life is a few stone tools, dating from one of the warmer periods, about 250,000 BC. However, the ice advanced again and Britain became hardly habitable until another milder period, probably around 50,000 BC. Periodisation

Old Stone Age


250,000 –

10,000 years ago

The period of the earliest known occupation of Britain by humans. This huge period saw many changes in the environment. The inhabitants of the region at this time were bands of hunter-gatherers who roamed Northern Europe following herds of animals, or who supported themselves by fishing. Around 50,000 BC a new type of human being seems to have arrived, who was the ancestor of the modern British. These people looked similar to the modern British, but were probably smaller and had a life span of only about thirty years.



(the British Museum)

Robin Hood Cave Horse

The primitive people used stone weapons and tools. The art of grinding and polishing was known to them, and they could make smooth objects of stone with sharp edges and points. A fragment of a rib engraved with a horse’s head – the oldest known carving of this type in Britain. The horse was carved approximately 12,500 years ago.

Middle Stone Age

( Mesolithic)

10,000 -5,500 years ago

About 10,000 years ago the ice age finally ended and the new era began. Temperatures rose to levels similar to those today. By 9,500 years ago, the rising sea levels caused by the melting glaciers cut Britain off from Ireland and, by around 6500 BC to 6000BC continental Europe was cut off for the last time. Humans spread and reached the far north of Scotland during this period. The dog was domesticated because of its benefits during hunting.

New Stone Age

(the Neolithic)

around 4000- 2000 BC

About 3,000 BC Neolithic people crossed the narrow sea from Europe in small round boats. Each could carry one or two persons. These people kept animals and grew corn crops, and knew how to make pottery. They probably came from the Iberian (Spanish) peninsula. They were small, dark, and long-headed people. They settled in the western parts of Britain and Ireland.

This was the period of domestication of plants and animals. The Neolithic Revolution, as it is called, introduced a more settled way of life. Cave occupation was common at that time. The construction of the earliest earthwork sites began during the early Neolithic (4400BC-3300BC) in the form of long barrows used for communal burials. The earliest stone circles also appear. Building reached its peak at the famous sites of Stonehenge, Avebury and Silbury Hill. Industrial flint mining begins along with evidence of long distance trade. Wooden tools and bowls were common.

Long barrows

Stone circles

Scara Brae



Silbury Hill

A well-preserved earthen long barrow where Neolithic people buried their dead. A stone circle is a monument of standing stones arranged in a circle. A large stone-built Neolithic settlement in Orkney Islands, Scotland. It consists of ten clustered houses, and was occupied roughly from 3180 BC – 2500 BC. It has been called the “Scottish Pompeii”. This stone hut at Skara Brae, Orkney, off the north coast of Scotland, was suddenly covered by a sandstorm before 2,000 BC. Skara Brae is all stone, and the stone furniture is still there. Behind the fireplace there are storage shelves against the back wall. Stonehenge is the most powerful monument of Britain’s prehistory. Its purpose is still not properly understood. Those who built Stonehenge knew how to cut and move very large pieces of stone. They also had the authority to control large numbers of workers, and to fetch some of the stone from distant parts of Wales. Avebury is a Neolithic henge monument containing three stone circles, around the village of Avebury in southwest England. Avebury contains the largest stone circle in Europe, and is one of the best known prehistoric sites in Britain. Silbury Hill is a prehistoric artificial chalk mound near Avebury.

The Bronze Age

(around 2200 to 750 BC)

After 2400 BC new groups of people arrived in southeast Britain from Europe. They were round-headed and strongly built, taller than Neolithic Britons. Their influence was soon felt and, as a result, they became leaders of British society. Their arrival is marked by the first individual graves, furnished with pottery beakers, from which these people get their name: the “Beaker” people.

The Beaker people probably spoke an Indo-European language. They seem to have brought a single culture to the whole of Britain. They also brought skills to make bronze tools and these began to replace the stone ones. The Beaker people were also skilled at making ornaments from gold, silver and copper. The Bronze Age people lived in round houses and divided up the landscape. They ate cattle, sheep, pigs and deer as well as shellfish and birds.

The Iron Age

(around 750 BC – 43 AD)

In around 750 BC iron working techniques reached Britain from Southern Europe. Iron was stronger and more plentiful than bronze, and its introduction marks the beginning of the Iron Age. Iron Age Britons lived in organized tribal groups, ruled by a chieftain.

  • Ice World
  • A History of Britain : Beginnings (parts 1,2)
  • Henges, Stonehenge, Woodhenge, Avebury
  • Stonehenge Documentary
  • Stonehenge – Secrets of an Ancient Monument