Posted on November 26, 2019 11:43 am

Candy, Cavemen and Brexit

How we trade, manufacturer and argue like cavemen

The Bronze Age in Britain, officially recognised as the era between the stone age and the iron age, lasted from 2,400 b.c to 800 b.c and it’s probably something you learned about briefly in school and then forgot all about.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t exactly the same. I seem to remember straw huts, black smiths and crude tools but not much else, so what, I can hear you asking, has that got to do with candy, sweets, trading or Brexit? Well, good question, quite a lot apparently.

Everything we know about the Bronze Age relies entirely on archeological work done by scientists over hundreds of years, digging up artefacts and old tools and things like that. A new study has revealed though that we probably have lots more in common than we thought, and that means candy and Brexit too.

Not quite red faced middle aged men on political panel shows or Twitter meltdowns, but similarities that are far more fundamental to the way we do business and create things.

Business today can seem pretty complicated but it dictates how you get the products you like, including American candy, and how much you pay for them, and where they come from. The cost of transportation, ingredients and other things all play a part, but it’s also who’s allowed to trade with who, and whether there’s extra taxes in place for doing it.

Cave men and candy

In looking back at how British cave men and women’s lives, there’s quite a lot of evidence that they didn’t tend to live in large towns or communities, instead congregating in smaller villages or collectives spread out far and wide.

Up until now it was always assumed that these smaller communities lived separately, making their own tools, growing their own crops and trading between themselves, but that is starting to change as more evidence is emerging that trade between these communities actually spread far and wide.

New discoveries of copper and bronze tools and weapons show that the mines that the Brits had been using for centuries, in Northern Ireland, had run out much quicker than they’d originally thought and that much of these tools and the people that brought them actually came from continental Europe.

Yeah, that’s right, the UK has been trading with Europe since the Bronze Age. Not sure how that makes you feel but in the age of Brexit probably something to consider when you’re stuck in the middle of a deathly boring debate in the pub.

Actually, what seems to have happened is that over the course of the next few thousand years the Europeans eventually assimilated into British culture and the previous native cave man that we might have thought as British stopped as a race before the iron age.

Cave man candies

There’s also increasing evidence that these communities even traded food and, yes candies and sweets between themselves within their ancient economy.

Whilst the diet and the candies aren’t really what we’d recognise these days, it’s still quite interesting to know what they ate and what they liked.

Because for the most part Bronze Age people were hunter gatherers, in that they didn’t grow or store their own food like we would today, there wasn’t much room for inventing things like Oreos, Reese’s Pieces or any other chocolate goodness.

They mainly ate fish, plants and nuts that they collected on their hunting trips but eventually they discovered honey from beehives and were able to solidify and store it for sweets and candies.

Over time they also learnt that fruits, when dried, could be stored for longer and also became sweeter, so these began to be dried and stored along with honey candies.

So, despite our assumptions about Iron Age cave people, the facts and research shows that they’re not that different from us after all and, in fact, they were quire European and very pro-candy.