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The Stone Age report (Horrible Histories)
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Another cracker from the brilliant CBBC sketch show HORRIBLE HISTORIES: the complete history of cavemen in just a couple of minutes! Just like a weather report.

Savage Stone Age

Hello and welcome to the news at when. When? Prehistoric time, when caveman slowly evolved into modern man, very slowly and in many different stages. Here to guide you through them is Bob Hale, with the Stone Age report. Bob.

Thanks Anne. Well, as you can see it’s about 750,000 years ago. That, believe it or not, is Britain and here comes the Stone Age. And there go the stones. There’s plenty to go around because the ground’s about 125 metres higher than it is today. In fact, you could walk to France, but please don’t, because we have guests, starting with... ta-ta-da-da... homo heidelbergensis. Or Heidi to his friends.

There he is, he’s 6 foot 1 and he is tons of fun and hard as nails. And Heidi likes to hunt animals in big groups. Animals like hippos, and elephants and hamsters and lions, except no hamsters, and it’s all jolly good fun until, suddenly, they’re gone! And why? Because it’s cold like ice, for an age. It’s called an ice age. And the whole country empties and after here nothing happens.

But not for long! The sun comes out and the melting ice makes the English Channel. We are now an island, hooray!  But no one can get here because they haven’t invented boats. So the only things in Britain are animals. Animals like mammoths, and wolves and, best of all, megabears. Yes, megabears, like a grizzly bear but twice the size. No, it’s bigger than that. Always bigger than that. There it is! It’s mean, it’s lean and you wouldn’t want to run into it on a dark night. And then one dark night someone runs into it!

Yes, the humans are back. But it’s not Heidi anymore. He’s evolved into Neanderthal, big brow, big nose, big news! And he loves to hunt. He chases bears, he’s chased by bears. He chases mammoths, he’s chased by mammoths. It’s all one big party until in 35,000 BC another guest turns up.

Do you recognize this fellow? It’s you, it’s me, it’s modern man. Yes, homo sapiens, our great, great great great great tons of million grandparents are here to hang out with the Neanderthals, and I hope they brought their kilts because, wouldn’t you know it? Here comes another ice age. And when it’s over, only homo sapiens are left. No more Neanderthals. And since the weather’s nice, great, great, great grand-dad gets a few jobs done.

He invents the wheel, beer, painting, archery, and most important of all, farming, which gets even easier when... bronze is invented. Yes, it’s goodbye Stone Age, hello Bronze Age. Then it’s Iron Age, Roman Age, Middle Age, Industrial Age, Modern Age, Act-Your-Age, Old Age, and then death... Uhg.

SAVAGE= /sævɪdʒ/ Wild, uncontrolled.

CAVEMAN= Men living in caves.

STAGE= Phase, part of a process.

THE STONE AGE REPORT= It is a parody of the weather report (or weather forecast) but talking about the Stone Age.

BELIEVE IT OR NOT= We use this expression when we are going to say something shocking, hard to believe, but we assure it’s true.

PLENTY= A lot, more than enough.

6 FOOT 1= 1 foot = 0.305 metres, so 6.1 feet is 1.86 ms.

HE IS TONS OF FUN= He is great fun, it’s a lot of fun with him. (ton /tʌn/ )

HARD AS NAILS= A common expression meaning “very hard”, very tough, strong.

IT’S ALL JOLLY GOOD FUN= It’s all tons of fun (“jolly” is emphasizing).

THE MELTING ICE= The ice which is melting. To melt is when a solid turns into a liquid.

MEGABEARS= Very big bears (the prefix MEGA- is a Greek word meaning “very big”).

GRIZZLY BEAR= A bear which lives in the forests of America.

TWICE THE SIZE= Twice as big.

ALWAYS BIGGER THAN THAT= Much much bigger than that. The word “always” here is emphasizing.

MEAN= Malicious, bad.

LEAN= Not fat.

RUN INTO= Meet by chance, unintentionally.

BROW= Forehead.

CHASE= To follow (game) in order to capture or kill; hunt.

TURN UP= Arrive unexpectedly. To appear.

FELLOW (BrE)= Guy (AmE). A colloquial way to refer to a person.

GREAT GREAT... GRANDPARENTS= Going back in your family tree there is your father, your grandfather, your great-grandfather, your great great grand-father, and so on (add a “great” for every generation).

HANG OUT WITH= Go out and have fun together, as friends.

KILT= A garment similar to a thick skirt worn by Scottish men (but never tell them it looks like a skirt!).

ACT-YOUR AGE= This is not a historical period, it’s a joke. The expression “act your age” means “behave according to the age you are”. So if a man in his 40s behaves like a spoiled child, you can tell him “come on, act your age!”.


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