The Stone Age is prehistory, the time before history. As there was no writing we don’t know the names of anyone who lived in the Channel Islands, or what they were doing. All we can do is to work out what we can from the things these people left behind.
Stone Age people would have made clothes from animal skins and tools out of wood. They might also have made things like baskets out of plant stalks. None of this survives to the present day though. It has all rotted away apart from a few tiny pieces. Stone does not rot or rust or burn, and animals won’t eat it, so most of what we have from the Stone Age…is stone!
Flint is a hard stone which can be as sharp as glass if chipped in the right way. In the Old Stone Age, men used to chip large chunks of flint to make tools and weapons. Archaeologists call this the ‘Palaeolithic’. Most of the Palaeolithic flints in the Channel Islands have been found in Jersey.
In time people started to chip flint more carefully, using smaller pieces. Their tools could be more delicate. This was the Middle Stone Age, or the ‘Mesolithic’. We have found thousands of pieces of flint on the little island of Lihou, off Guernsey. These are the leftover pieces from making flint tools at a favourite hunting camp. We also found out that these hunters were also eating fish and hazelnuts. They must also have been able to build boats, as they were living on Lihou around 7,500 BC when Guernsey had become an island.