I'm sure the locals, and perhaps most of the English, are used to the idea of a rocky beach. But I'll never forget the crunching sound my feet made as they walked across Brighton's beaches, and I can't imagine spreading a towel, and laying down on those rocks to enjoy a sunny day. Yet they catch the eye, and they possess a certain beauty, in their own way.
I found the rocks at the bottom of nearby Black Rock raised beach quite interesting. I have no idea what Edward Taynton (in E. F. Benson's novel The Blotting Book) might have told his young men about these rocks, had he served as a guide on the expedition. Lacking any real knowledge of geology, the only thing I can liken them to is pebble candy. So many different colors, shapes, and sizes, and often the inside looked completely different from the outer coating.
Ice Age man might have found similar beauty in different colors and shapes of rocks, but his appreciation was necessarily more pragmatic. In last month's post, Growing Up During The Ice Age, I related to you how the young protagonist Loon (in Kim Stanley Robinson's novel Shaman) is sent off on his trial of manhood. Lacking anything from the community he grew up with, he is forced to draw on the resources he finds around him.
|Ice Age stone tools, |
courtesy of the Brighton Museum
To make his first set of clothes, he finds a rock such as those in the photo above, and uses it to cut and weave a thin but intricate wooden suit. Today's power tools help us fashion wood into practically any shape we desire. Yet I imagine that not one modern woodworker in a thousand could match Loon's feat. Loon and his people were primitives, right?