27 October 2017

Written in stone

I'm unexpectedly pleased to have been given a copy of "The Stone Age of Northern Africa" -  a seemingly specialist title published in 1960. But Pelican books were "an informal university for generations of Britons" - and cost no more than a packet of cigarettes.
Those old Pelicans had some amazing titles - "Techniques of Persuasion" and "Derelict Britain" among them. In the 1960s the covers diverged from the classic format - see the new look here.

Inside are, as you might expect, many drawings of stone tools. My brush with archaeology at university consisted of a course that seemed to be entirely and disappointly about stone tools, with the highlight of watching Prof Carlson demonstrate stone chipping techniques - but using the thick bottom of a green glass bottle. 
 My current interest is not in the types of blades or the debate about whether what looks like a tool has the right sort of bulb of percussion to prove it to be of human origin. It's the technique of drawing, which will be very useful next time the Tuesday group visits the Petrie museum, especially in regard to pottery -
Patience and a fine pen seem to be required....

The book also has a section of photos, including rock art -
Lovely old stuff - both the artifacts and the "vintage" book. 

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