NEOLITHIC BASKET CUT & PASTE CRAFT PROJECT
Click the photo below to view or print the basket pattern and instructions.
THE NEW STONE AGE
When I think of the New Stone Age, I think of a lovely Disney-style movie with people and animals living in tidy little communities. They work the soil to plant their crops while singing songs like Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World.” The Neolithic period covers about ten thousand years of human development. These ancient ancestors discovered and invented many of the technologies we still use today. Archeologists have uncovered the remains of some of their settlements. They have theories about what life must have been like for the people who lived way back then, but with no written records we can never really know.
Some research indicates that this was a time when women were highly regarded and held some of the highest positions in their communities. We see the evidence in goddess statues that were carved to honor the Mother Earth. Women were the gatherers of the Stone Age. They knew about the healing properties of plants, so it would be logical to think women were the first pharmacists and doctors. Some researchers think that women began to lose their power in the Neolithic period. They point to heavy farming tools as one reason that bigger, stronger men would take over. They argue that settled life produced more babies, therefore women would spend most of their time with mothering duties.
There is also a debate as to whether the people of the Neolithic period were warring or peaceful. In most of the settlements that have been excavated, humans appear to have died peacefully. There are no wounds or cracks in the bones to indicate a violent death.
I like to think of this as the time of peaceful farming communities; people who had a deep understanding of the Earth and respect for all of its creations. “I see skies of blue, clouds of white, bright sunny days, dark sacred nights. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world!”
TOP 10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW STONE AGE
#10 NEOLITHIC AGE – A term that means New Stone Age. People still made and used stone tools, hunted, and gathered, but their lifestyle changed from nomadic to settled.
#9 SETTLEMENTS – People lived in communities like: Çatal Hüyük, Skara Brae, and Jericho
#8 GODDESS STATUES – Little goddess statues were buried in the fields to help the crops grow.
#7 CANOES – Hollowed out logs were crafted to make canoes
#6 FISHING – People settled by fresh water because we need water to survive. They caught fish and other edible seafood.
#5 BASKET WEAVING – Grasses were woven to make containers to hold and transport items.
#4 POTTERY – Clay from the earth was molded into pots that were kiln-fired, and used to hold liquids and solids.
#3 CLOTH – Fibers from plants and animals were used to make string that was woven into cloth.
#2 TAMED ANIMALS – Learning to keep animals nearby meant milk and meat were always on hand.
#1 FIRST FARMERS – AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION – Learning to plant seeds changed the way people lived. The more people you can feed, the bigger your population grows.
NEOLITHIC PERIOD ACTIVITIES
Little Pinch Pot—Purchase pottery clay at your local craft store or make the Coffee Clay recipe from the Stone Age blog entry. Give each child a 5”X5” piece of aluminum foil and a golf ball sized ball of clay. (The Coffee Clay recipe makes 4 pots.)
To make a pinch pot:
- Set the ball of clay on the piece of aluminum foil.
- Press your finger into the center of the clay; don’t press through the bottom.
- Gently pinch the center and outside of the clay, turn and pinch, turn and pinch, all the way around to form your pot.
- Press a design into the pot before baking, if you’d like.
- Paint a design on the pot after baking, if you’d like.
Card Cloth Weaving
You’ll need a 5”X 8” piece of poster board, pencil, ruler, scissors, and 70” piece of twine or yarn. You’ll also need 7” long fibers to weave through your card loom: long grasses, ribbon, strips of fabric, yarn…
- Turn the poster board so the short side is on top. Use the ruler and a pencil to draw a line, 1” from the top. Do the same to the bottom.
- Now mark every half inch on the top and the bottom of the poster board.
- Cut a slit from each half inch mark to the line you drew. (You’ll make 9—1” slits across the top and 9—1” slits across the bottom of the poster board.)
- Tie a knot on one end of the long piece of twine. Slide the twine in the top left slit. Pull the twine through the slit until the knot is right behind the slit. Run the twine to the bottom left slit. Put it in the slit. Then behind the next slit. Then up through the next slit. Then back to the top, through the next slit, behind the card, through the next slit, and back down. Keep working the twine in this manner until you have looped the twine through every slit.
- Now you have a card loom. You can weave a fiber over and under the vertical twine lines. Slide it to the bottom. Weave the next fiber under and over the vertical twine lines. Slide it to the bottom. Continue in this manner until you have woven a solid piece of cloth.
Make The NEOLITHIC BASKET CRAFT. Click the link to view or print the PDF.
Click the link to go to the NEOLITHIC PERIOD page on my website for FREE activities or to purchase the unit.
Farm Fresh Foods— In this unit, you can introduce the four basic food groups or the food pyramid. Farm living gave people a variety of foods: Dairy, grains, fruits and vegetables, and protein.