Tuesday, April 25, 2017

After the Ice

No, this isn't a post about Spring. It's about a book. Steven Mithin's book, AFTER THE ICE: A GLOBAL HUMAN HISTORY 20,000 - 5,000 BC is part anthropology, part archaeology, and part informed fiction.

Why am I posting about it on Fatal Foodies? Because, my dears, one of the motives for murder, individual or group-wide, is competition for a desired object/person or resources.

Sometimes, the resources coveted are food/food-related. Stored grain. Domesticated livestock. Grazing lands. Rich fishing grounds. And always, in pre-history, everything was centered around hunting/gathering: just finding and preparing enough food to survive was the main occupation of everybody, all the time, every day.

Mithin gives the excavation evidence of foods, climate, ecosystems, social activities, folds in observational details from people living similar lives in similar climates and ecosystems in recent times, and extrapolates possible scenarios in pre-history. He never says, "It WAS this way," and he always cautions against assuming too much, but his recreations are compelling.

Whether you're writing a mystery set in pre-history or a modern hunter/gatherer society, or a science fiction/fantasy world with hunter/gatherers, or maybe have a survivalist character/group in your book, this book is a fascinating and useful read.


Cerebrations.biz said...

I had heard about this book...
And, i love your choice to populate your food blog with it.

Marian Allen said...

It seemed natural. So much of the archeological evidence consists of bones, seeds, pollen, and vegetable fibers, and so much (not to say all) of the activities had to do with keeping body and soul together. Hunting and gathering leading to farming and herding, domesticating cereals and other crops and domesticating animals, food storage, trading foods and the materials needed to make farming and food prep tools and hunting weapons.... It was all about food!