Early Life Project Development

Over a period of three weeks the children of Kilmodan have researched and explored what it was like to be a Mesolithic Hunter Gather, coming to the Glen for the first time and also what it was like to decide to put roots down in the Glen and to make that first important decision to create settlements here.

We started with making word chains, connecting words that connected to our impressions of early settler life and from those words drawings were designed to create images of the Glen, as it once would have been. We discovered that the landscape would have been covered in thick deep woodland, oaks, beeches, birches and willow trees, would have lined the banks of the ‘Red River’.

Research was undertaken to understand how we have come to know about our early setters and why there is evidence in our own Glen. We looked at the shape of the hills and the landscape about us, that clearly shows ridges and barrows that are ‘man made’, also identified ‘cairn sites’ (RCHAMS), that evidence early Glen life. As part of the project, we have been thrilled to connect with the extensive research of local archeologist and historian Charles MacLauchlan. For the first time within the community.

Charles has been kind enough to make his work public, through the Glen of The Red River Project. His work has significantly contributed to all our understanding and local perception of the time span of the communities that came to be, along the River Ruel, also to understanding the historical landscape and the early impacts on the land of the men and women who came here, initially to hunt & gather food and water and then the reasons they eventually decided to make the Glen home.

From this inspiring work and with Charles help, we went on to develop our own stories inspired by what we had learnt. The children divided into four groups, 2 groups were Mesolithic and 2 groups were Neoliths. Our two groups create their own story journey which can be read here.

A ‘Caveman’s Soundscape: The stories the children wrote inspired a ‘soundscape’ performance: We were not sure how the early life settlers would have communicated. We knew about ‘caveman’s art’ but we were unsure of a ‘language’, so we were confident that sound would have played a very important part in the early settlers journey and arrival in the Glen. To come are 2 soundscapes created by the children, based on their own Mesolithic and Neolithic story.