(+ русский перевод)
ago, the British Isles were not isles at all. Britain was part
of the European continent: the English Channel did not exist and
East Anglia merged into the Netherlands. Then, about 10,000 years
ago - when the last Ice Age had ended, when the bones of the last
mammoth had sunk into the mud of the Thames valley, when the climate
grew warmer - new rivers and seas were formed and Europe was slowly
formed into its present shape.
The people of Britain,
like their cousins оn the continent, were simple hunters who
lived оn the flesh of wild animals, which they shot with flint-tipped
arrows or caught in traps. They killed fish in the estuaries
and shallow rivers with spears made from the antlers of deer.
They gathered wild fruit, nuts and honey, and probably ate snails,
caterpillars and other grubs. They did not build permanent houses,
but moved from place to place, sheltering in caves in cold weather.
The people of Britain lagged behind the people of certain warmer
lands in their development. While they were still living in
caves and scratching about for insects to eat, the Egyptians
were building pyramids and writing literature.
Of all the stages between the cave and the skyscraper, perhaps
man's greatest leap forward was taken when he became а farmer.
The Stone Age farmer of about 5,000 years ago had to clear patches
in the forests which covered most of Britain that was not barren
heath or swamp. Не cut down trees with stone axes, burned off
the scrub, and tilled the ground with а stone-headed hoe. Не
kept half-wild cattle and pigs in the forest, where they could
find their own food, and in treeless parts, like northern Scotland,
he kept sheep. The people who grew grain in southern England
had flint sickles to reap the harvest.
By the end of the Stone Age, about 2,000 BC, metal was already
being used. The Beaker people, who are named after the clay
mugs, or 'beakers', they made, also used bronze knives. They
came to Britain from northern Europe, and started the building
of the stone monuments at Stonehenge and Avebury (Эйвбери). ...