Film: 5979

History | 1960 | Sound | B/W

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Synopsis:

Prehistoric Britain.
Engraving of the Cove at Avebury, Wiltshire. Views of British countryside. Remains of prehistoric stone houses. A hand mill upon which corn for bread was ground. Standing stones. Cromlech. Burial mounds in Wiltshire. Team of three horses harrowing a field. Man holds reins behind them. Farmer picks up old stone axe. Young boy whittles a stick with his penknife. At a zoo, lion in a cage with people looking on. Lion and lioness on grass. She eats. Sealion jumps into water then climbs out. Elephant feeds itself straw. Monkeys and chimpanzees - the latter in cage.
Close up of hands sorting through flint pieces. Close up of hands making flat axes with stone and then antler horn. Close ups of well made stone axes. Copper and bronze axe heads. Iron axes. A line of axes from chipped pebbles to modern machine-made axe.
The Old Stone Age: Map of Britain and Europe half a million years ago. Diagrammatic ice ages. Models of ape-like men. Spearheads, knives, scrapers and borers. Bone needles. Harpoons -a succession of old stone age tools. Cave in Cheddar Gorge where people would have lived. Interior of cave. Stalactites and stalagmites. Bone and antler food debris. Pictures of animals carved on tools and painted on walls.
End of the Old Stone Age: Model shows progressive flooding of English Channel. Rocky coasst of England with waves breaking.
After the Old Stone Age Come: Pan across rocky hillside. Close up of hand harvesting wheat with a sharp knife. Ground prepared with a rough hoe. Stones cleared. Seeds thrown down. Grinding grain for flour on flat stone. Storing flour. Map of the Middle east and Europe. Invention of farming. Map shows spread of farmers to British Isles.
Windmill Hill in Wiltshire where there is evidence of one of their settlements ( a causewayed enclosure). Close up of repaired pot. Samples of British pottery from Windmill Hill. Skara Brae in the Orkneys. Sand dunes - aerial still of site. The stone buildings and interiors. Operation of a door at Skara Brae with a stone bar securing device. Five stone walls. Selection of beads. Hearth. Stone dresser. Stone hand mill - demonstration of grinding fish bone for meal. Collecting limpets and other shellfish.
Burial chambers: entrance to a chambered long barrow at Bellas Knap near Cheltenham in Cotwolds. Remains of chambers are dolmens - examples. Long Barrows. Orkney Isle burial mounds - the inside. Long barrow in Cotswolds.
End of the New Stone Age: The Bronze Age
Example of metal worker smashing up copper and tin ore. Furnace made. Use of bellows. Smelting. Collecting metal or nuggets. Making mould. Pouring boiling metal into moulds. Breaking moulds open. Map of British Isles. Invasion of metal workers. Round barrow folk prominent on chalk downs and uplands. They are the " Beaker Folk ". Decorations on pots. Weapons such as axes or narrow heads still made from stone. Stone circles.
Somerset stone circles. Wiltshire: Avebury stone circles: aerial still. Diagram shows link of Avebury to Sanctuary. Film of Avenue and the stones. The Great Bank. Wiltshire: Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain. Uprights, lintels, sockets and stone pegs. Aerial view. Bronze axes, spears and daggers. Jet necklace. Irish gold necklace - gold collar. Twisted gold decorations. Celtic invasions - l;arge iron shield. Mediterranean vases with soldiers portrayed on them. Horse harness fittings. Skilled artists - attractive patterns. Uffington White Horse and hil fort still. Film of camp on hill top with line of defences. Aerial views of celtic camps. Fortress at Trecarey in North wales built of stone. Snowdonia views. Hut circles and hut remains. A fortified village Troone (?) Castle near Penzance is also of rock. Scottish broch. Remains of broch surrounded by chief's followers' huts. Well defended. View over sea of broch. Maiden Castle in Dorset - aerial view. On ground see many lines of defence. Pan over farmland and fields. Archaeological photographs uncover sites of farms and fields. Crop marks. Little Woodbury near Salisbury.
Historical reconstruction of this farm from 2000 years ago. Inside palisade is round farmhouse. Central hearth and fire. Close ups of wooden roof. Goat eats inside hut. Large cooking pot on fire. Foods stored in pots. Storage loft. Site of flour preparation. Hammock beds. Wattle screens, toys carved from bone./ Skins. Loom with loo weights. wearing combs. Half-made basket. Horse in farmyard. Corn dries on racks. Grain dried in oven. Clay pits store corn and water. Granaries. Framework of new house being constructed.
Modern Irish croft and bog with sheep - equal comfort between 200 years ago and now. Man uses axe to fell tree. Farmer wears flat cap and hoes land. Comparisons of old and new - some basic tools. Modern man uses machete for hedging.


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