Have you ever wondered what life would be like without your oven? It’s easy to take it for granted, especially if you’re an avid cook or traveler. However, take that vital instrument away and you’d have to search for wood, build a fire and keep it alight every single day. Take away the wonders of modern supermarkets and microwave meals too and you’ve got to forage for food or catch an animal. How many people could effectively do that today? Very few, I’d say.
Whilst it might seem like an unusual exercise, thinking about modernity in this way reveals the daily hardships of our prehistoric ancestors the world over, who spent most of their time engaged in the act of staying alive.
Interestingly, many theorists have claimed that the discovery of early clay ovens kick-started modern civilization. After all, cooked meat provided much more energy than plant food and allowed families to hunt bigger game and focus more attention on their home-life. This, in turn, encouraged relationships and social interaction, eventually evolving homo-sapiens into the sentient, society-focus species we are today.
In this modern world, where we have everything on demand, it’s grounding to learn the history behind domestic items. Check out the above e-booklet (click and scroll to the bottom) for the historical low down and marvel at the vast and significant history of the humble oven. Next time you use it, you might just look at it a little bit differently.