Ice Age Man

It isn’t that cave houses in the Ice Age would be white-washed, or have glass in the windows, or have flag stones or a well like these at Kinver Edge in England. However, the houses of the Upper Palaeolithic Ice Age would have mud-brick walls to close them in and a door to shut against the bitter wind and drafts.

Approaching the troglodyte valley what you found 35 000 years ago was a stream and beside it a path well-trodden. There were little paths going off from the main path and each one led to a wooden door going straight into the hillside. Partway up the hillside rose a column of smoke from the fire of a hearth. The smoke escaped through an excavated chimney.

Some caves were shrines kept by shamans. I’ve heard they’re full of paintings, but you could only go in if you were participating in the ritual. That is the ritual that causes the auroches and the horses to return on their yearly migration when the shamans call them.

The return of the herds was always a time of plenty, a bonanza. Many people smoked meat as well as fish in smoke houses, then they had stores of food to tide them over until the next hunting season and to exchange for other goods.

Chimney of a cave in Chinamada, Ternerife
Chilote smoke house 1990s

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