Counter Culture is keen to engage children and adults with thinking about prehistoric inequality and every day life in the Neolithic. We'll be out and about visiting events and giving talks about the project and continuing with our research into Neolithic cheese making.

There is huge public interest in the links between diet and health, with the diet of past populations often held up as closer to a "natural" diet (e.g. "Paleo Diet"). The onset of the Neolithic and the changes in diet associated with it, problematise the existence of a "natural" diet, as well as challenging the concept of an "ideal diet". It also demonstrates the extent to which social identity can be experienced through food. We will be planning events where families and members of the public can have a go at making cheese using Neolithic technology. 

PI, Penny Bickle, at the festival of Archaeology in 2016
PI, Penny Bickle, at the Festival of Archaeology in 2016

Over the course of the project, we will also be producing school's resources for Key Stage 2.

June 2018

Come and join us as the Festival of Ideas Discovery Zone on June 1st

The Counter Culture project will be experimenting with making Neolithic cheese. Early European farmers had a ready supply of milk, but ancient DNA tells us that they could not digest it. For them drinking milk led to unpleasant symptoms and digestive problems. To overcome the side-effects of drinking milk, early farmers processed it into cheese. Come along and experiment with making cheese, using the prehistoric technologies they used and find out why the ‘Palaeodiet’ is a modern myth.

Autumn 2017

Before the project got underway, PI Penny Bickle contributed to an exhibition on Prehistoric Diet, designed by English Heritage and housed at the Stonehenge visitor's centre. You can find out more about the exhibition Food and Feasting on the Stonehenge website.   

As part of this exhition, Penny headed down to Stonehenge and with senior properities historian Sue Greaney had a go at making "Neolithic" cheese! You can watch the video they made on YouTube and read more about why cheese making and dairy products are so interesting in the Neolithic, and why they challenge some the assumptions we make about the value of food, in the blog Penny wrote on the English Heritage blog: Separating the curds from the Whey: why did we start making cheese?