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H 245 x W 174 mm

308 pages

175 figures (colour throughout)

Published Jul 2022

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803272580

Digital: 9781803272597

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Ice Age; Appearance; abilities; Environment; Resources; Survival; Subsistence; Birth; childhood; burial; Communication; myth; religion; Rock Art

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Everyday Life in the Ice Age

A New Study of Our Ancestors

By Elle Clifford, Paul Bahn

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This is the first attempt to present a truly complete, balanced and realistic picture of life during the last Ice Age, while dispelling many of the myths and inaccuracies about our early ancestors. This highly illustrated and accessible book is aimed not only at students and specialists, but also and especially the interested public.



Preface – Don Johanson ;
Introduction ;
Chapter 1: Introducing the People: Appearance, Abilities and Disabilities ;
Chapter 2: Setting the Scene: Ice Age Environments and Home Comforts ;
Chapter 3: Our Crafty Ancestors ;
Chapter 4: How to Make a Living: Survival and Subsistence ;
Chapter 5: Ice Age People: From Womb to Tomb ;
Chapter 6: Keeping in Touch: Communication, Social Life and Organization ;
Conclusion ;
Case Study: El Mirón and Covalanas ;
Appendix: The Fake ‘Venus’ of Abri Pataud ;
References ;
Figure credits ;

About the Author

Elle Clifford began her career lecturing in social and developmental psychology, and researching stress and women’s reproductive health. She published over a dozen academic papers on these topics. She then acquired a Master’s degree in prehistory at York University with a thesis on cave art and mythological worlds. In recent years Elle has accompanied Paul on visits to more than 50 of the most important decorated caves. They have co-authored two papers on the so-called ‘Lion Man’ figurine of the Ice Age. ;

Paul Bahn has a PhD in archaeology from Cambridge University, and for decades has been an independent researcher, writing and editing a wide range of archaeological books, including several on Ice Age art. He also lectures on numerous tours to the decorated Ice Age caves.


'As an Upper Palaeolithic specialist, I’m delighted that Clifford and Bahn have done such justice to our distant ancestors. I hope the book will go far to convince amateurs and specialists alike that if we are to use such general terms as ‘civilisation’, it is in desperate need of backdating several tens of thousands of years. Better still, just ignore the term, sit back, and enjoy this jauntily written, up-to-date excursion around Ice Age Europe. It’s a terrific resource for students and an unparalleled introduction to the achievements of our Ice Age ancestors. When you’re done, you can even cook the Ice Age recipe that Clifford and Bahn include. I won’t spoil the surprise, but get your plaquette heated up ready.' – Paul Pettitt (2022): Current World Archaeology

'In this witty, richly illustrated look at European ice-age life — the first of its kind in English — social psychologist Elle Clifford and archaeologist Paul Bahn try to decipher tool use... to supplement archaeological evidence, the authors use data from hunter-gatherers and knowledge of basic human behaviour, animals and plants.' - Andrew Robinson: Nature

'There’s a lot to like about this book, a sort of grown-up version of Lessons From Our Ancestors, focusing on Ice Age Europe. With a preface by Lucy-discoverer Don Johanson (no less), many colour illustrations, a large bibliography and the joint experiences of the authors’ long engagement with their subject – academically and on the ground – it conveys authority. At the same time, it successfully addresses readers for whom everything is new, in clear prose and with nearly as many boxes as pages of main text. And it delivers what it says on the cover.' – Mike Pitts (2023): British Archaeology May/June 2023