Skinning a deer with flint tools

This was Dr Matthew Pope – a Neolithic archaeology expert – demonstrating how good flint tools are.  As he worked he ran through the history of humanity starting in Africa and with pre-sapiens, coming to Europe and eventually to Britain as hunter gatherers, then the big switch to farming.  As he was at pains to point out the small shard of flint severed the fatty layer between skin and flesh with very little effort.  And he used a larger, heavier ‘axe’ with sweeping strokes (no real force needed) to cut away the foreleg.  The whole thing held me and a bunch of individual and families in close attention for about 20 minutes.  Afterwards he demonstrated the removal of the best cut from road-kill if you couldn’t take the whole animal away.

On Whitehawk Hill, Matt Pope and his deer (gutted and head removed)

On Whitehawk Hill, Matt Pope and his deer (gutted and head removed)

The 'tricky bit around the anus', he said.

The ‘tricky bit around the anus’, he said.

Slicing between skin and flesh.  Matt said he'd make a better job of it if he had more time.

Slicing between skin and flesh. Matt said he’d make a better job of it if he had more time.

Showing the hand axe about to slice away at the tissue holding the foreleg in place.

Showing the hand axe about to slice away at the tissue holding the foreleg in place.

Nearly off.

Nearly off.

The foreleg comes away.

The foreleg comes away.

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