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Watch: Wilderness enthusiasts try out Stone Age life in Finland

A two-year-old toddler is the youngest group member temporarily living a Neolithic lifestyle. 

Video: Kierikikeskuksessa järjestetyn kivikauden asumistestin asukkaista kivikautisen asunnon nuorion ympärillä helmikuussa 2020.
Kivikauden talvielämää testataan Kierikin museokeskuksen kauden kylässä, johon on rakenettu muun muassa kivikauden asumismallia noudattavia taloja. Video: Marko Väänänen / Yle Video: Marko Väänänen / Yle

This week an international group of 10 people is reliving Stone Age life at the Kierikki Stone Age Centre in northern Finland. It is located on the banks of Iijoki River, near Oulu.

Animal hide-clad members want to find out how well Stone Age dwellings sheltered hunter-gatherers.

American archaeologist Lynx Vilden is leading the experiment. His prehistoric tribe has drawn Stone Age experts from around the world to Oulu. Many have previous experience camping in primitive environments.

"Stone Age living brings us closer to the most essential things in life. It shows how nature sustains us and impacts our lives," Vilden told Yle. The week-long project aims to draw practical lessons from prehistoric living.

Stone Age ancestors

The youngest member of the group honing her wilderness skills is two-year-old Tindra, accompanied by her father Roni Öhman.

Tindra, bundled up in warm fur clothing, hasn’t been bothered by the cold, according to her father, who said adults have had a tougher time dealing with the frosty conditions.

Campers eat berries, eggs and herbs--much like their prehistoric ancestors. The group supplements its diet with reindeer. Armed with Stone Age-style tools, the Neolithic investigators carve bite-sized bits of meat from a carcass suspended from the hut's ceiling.

“Whether we want to admit it or not, we are still connected to nature," Dutch group member Steven Dirven said while scraping a reindeer hide clean.

Öhman said that while he tries to simplify his regular life after a camp like this one, creature comforts slowly creep in.

"We live in a regular detached house with four kids," he said about his life in the 21st century.

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