Scenes from Prehistoric Life: from the Ice Age to the coming of the Romans

Review by Molly Masterson.

In just a few hundred pages, Scenes from Prehistoric Life takes readers on a journey through 900,000 years of prehistory, weaving a narrative that connects the ancient and historic pasts and the more recent memories provided by the author, Francis Pryor. The unfolding story presents sites found throughout Britain and Ireland, offering snapshots of life in past worlds. From the Palaeolithic shores of Happisburgh to the Neolithic stone dwellings in Orkney and the Saxon church at Brixworth, readers will find new perspectives of experience, landscape, and time as Pryor travels between places and periods. This book introduces a variety of themes, including stone and metal axes, food- and salt-processing, monumental and domestic construction, and the sacred and the profane. These are discussed within the contexts of Pryor’s own fieldwork, allowing the reader to step into the trench alongside him and share his discoveries. Archaeologists, enthusiasts, and novices alike can turn the page and enter scenes from prehistory, learning what it meant to live in and experience the past.

Scenes from Prehistoric Life: from the Ice Age to the coming of the Romans, Francis Pryor, Head of Zeus (Apollo), £25, ISBN 978-1789544145.