Welcome to Beyond2000bc
1975, a car full of children with mum and dad drove down a thickly forested road with the shade of the trees and the fresh smell of pine drawing our attention. We turned a corner to a truly unusual sight - a vast open expanse of land that appeares at a glance, to have been hit by a shower of meteors. This we came to know as home, a place nestled in the heart of Breckland called Grimes Graves. The huge depressions in the ground all connected together by a few feet were backfilled flint mines from the Neolithic (Late Stone Age).My dad, as the newly appionted custodian followed the thinkers who had been the miners and knappers here and began to teach himself flint knapping, this was often done with me very close by attempting the art on his spoils or debitage as the archaeological world knows it. Apart from it being a wonderful place for a child to grow up in, I helped with some chores not usual for today’s modern children to be involved with, such as skinning rabbits, plucking birds, descaling fish and sometimes tanning deer hides! The skills I developed in flint knapping came through many hours, weeks, months and years of practice.
1987, times changed and we left Grimes Graves. It was shortly after that the bomb dropped, I realised what I had been privileged to as a child and thought I had lost the place, knowledge and skills that go with it. Time for me continued to unfold and I tried various different jobs however my love for the travelling caveman way of life stayed with me and I began demonstrating at various shows to an ever increasing audience. This saw me travelling across the country to schools, museums, archaeological sites as well as bushcraft events. Then came a revolution in my thinking and understanding of the people who were coming to these events , previously I had tried to sell my wares as a way of providing for myself and it always delivered but sometimes only just! What I realised was that these people wanted to learn the skills I possessed rather than purchasing another possession to add to their already over cluttered lives.
Now it all makes sense to me and while I have been journeying with the teaching, the corridors of the past have continually lit up for me, enlightening my understanding of our ancestors, the way they lived, behaved and fitted into life on earth.
2012, 37 years of my life spent with skin, stone and bones, I often see keen faces begin to frown and puzzle as they sit down at flint knapping for the first time with a large random shaped piece of flint that they are about to hit with a quartzite boulder (hammer stone). This is to coin a phrase a very special moment, “Will it do what I think it will? Will I miss the place I am trying to hit?, I have no idea where to hit it ... etc., The point I am making is the crushing element of defeat that hangs over many if not all people just prior to lifting the flint. Why am I making this point? Because all that stuff just gets in the way. The flint is like a frozen lake and it does exactly what its told to, we have many factors in what may occur when we first approach it but as much as you may delay .... HIT IT!! This now has you and the flint in the same boat and whatever the outcome the lessons will be great and last forever. If you persevere you will one day make the flint sing and I promise you, you will hold that very dear.Films I Have appeared on, History of Ancient Britian, presented by Niel Oliver BBC2 . In this series you will see me demonstraiting a 100lb neolithic bow with flint tip arrows, this is in connection with the battle of Crickley hill. Along with my family I assisted with supplying props and acted for a National Geographic production.( Stoneage Atlantis ). Recently on channell 4 More I was on a Series called Jimmy's Forest, butchering a deer and making Jimmy a very prehistoric style lunch. I also instuct for Ray Mears company Woodlore. (Flint knapping) and Natural Pathways in Kent.