Students walked away from this event with a greater appreciation for modern technology—something that many of us take for granted.

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Could you survive the Stone Age? Archaeology student shares three tips after hosting SFU’s first PaleOlympics

April 10, 2017
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By Justin Wong

In April, SFU hosted its first PaleOlympics where students from all faculties tested their Paleolithic-period survival skills. In teams of five, students gained hands-on experience learning what it was like to live in the Paleolithic, or Stone, Age. They performe various survival tasks using recreated ancient tools from that period.

Students enjoyed a learning experience not easily replicated in the classroom. Team events included throwing spears and atlatl darts at realistic animal targets, creating fire using a bow-drill, carving Venus figurines, and other activities. Students walked away from this event with a greater appreciation for modern technology—something that many of us take for granted.

SFU archeaology student Brea McCauley, who was the event's primary organizer, recently sat down with SFU News to share three tips on surviving the Stone Age.

1. Without fire, you’ll be toast

McCauley: “Fire would be your life line in the Stone Age. It provides light, heat and cooks your food. Without fire you likely wouldn’t make it very long.”

2. Learn what you can eat

McCauley: “Eat one wrong berry and you’re done for. Figuring out which plants are edible was crucial for surviving the Stone Age. There might be extended periods of time between your successful hunts, so you’re going to need an abundance of plant foods to make sure you don’t starve. You have to make sure your meal won’t do you in.”

3. Cooperate and plan

McCauley: “Hunting in a group is always going to be more successful than hunting by yourself. Learning the migration patterns of your prey and planning in advance to work as a group is going to be your best bet to survive the harsh winters. Don’t try to tackle the Stone Age alone.”

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