Stock-farming or agriculture ?
About 12000 BC, at the end of the  last Ice Age the Mid-European  tundra
yielded to the North. Reindeer and hunter followed. In the TRAP of the western
Baltic Sea both separated. The animals continued  to pull to  the North. The
hunters had to adapt to the strange living conditions in the North.

Their problem: No more reindeers!  What to do? Developing agriculture in a
subcritical climate ? More hunting for feeding a growing population ?

In a resuming analysis Poulsen (1983) has estimated the capacity of the Danish
soils in the Bronze Age.

                                  only stock-farming                         4.9   (1.4)  
                                  only cultivation of grain                 2,1   (0.7)
                                  both  combined                              6,4   (1.9)
Persons per 100 hectare (1 qkm). In parentheses the number of persons, who
settle on sandy soils or in humid areas.

The milk production of a Bronce Age cow  was estimated to approximately
400-600 kg in a lactation-period of 3 to 4 months. After departure of 300 kg milk
for raising a calf about 150-250 kg of milk remain for the nutrition of humans.
(Benecke)  A clear tendency is shown.The good ´caloric´ value of cattle/dairy-
farming is given by the milk.

The caloric value of 1kg milk is about                           660  kcal. (x 4.18=Joule)
A cow supplies the farmer with 200kg milk             132 000  kcal per annum
The meat of  a Bronce Age cow                             220 000  kcal

 The economic output of a cow in four lactation periods 
                   Milk        528 000  Cal + four calves
                   Meat       220 000  Cal  (x 4.18 =Joule)

In reality the significance of this calculation is necessarily more a  hypothesis.
But a biological mechanism  the lactase problem - I dare to say may ´prove´ the
supposed neolithic ´dairy hypothesis
(Unknown the amount of shedded blood for drinking)


The domesticated cattle become provable in Denmark around 4500 BC. About
 thousand years later the ' funnel beaker culture '  emerged in the north.
(3400-2800 BC.).

       Trichterbecher -Kultur (4200-2800 BC.)


                    Trichterbecher  und Dolmen

 Perhaps not  only a oincidence  that in the North a cup became the symbol of
a *Funnel beaker culture*

Simply regarded a beaker is usefull for drinking.The problem: " What ? Mead or
milk or both?" A beaker, a daily necessity for milk
drinking cattle- farmer?
(Notice the drinking cup for kids.)

The assumptions of a primarily cattle-economically aligned society in the North
fits the description, which gave Tacitus 1500 years later in his Germania

"It  (the land)  is productive  of  grain, but unfavorable to fruit-bearing trees; it
is rich in flocks and herds, but  these are for  the most part  undersized, and
even  the  cattle have not their usual beauty or noble head. It is number that is
chiefly valued; they are in fact the most highly prized, indeed the only riches

of the people"

(23) "
  Their food is of a simple kind, consisting of wild fruit, fresh game, and
curdled milk
. They satisfy their hunger  without  elaborate preparation and
without delicacies. In quenching their thirst they are equally moderate. If you
indulge their love of drinking by supplying  them with as much as they desire,

hey will  be overcome by their own  vices as easily as by the arms of an enemy."

(14) "Nor are they as easily  persuaded to plough the earth  and to wait for the
year's produce as to challenge an enemy and earn the honor of wounds. Nay,
they actually think it tame and stupid  to acquire by the sweat of  toil what they

might win by their blood."

                    In the Neolithic North agriculture compared with
                           dairy farming did not worthwhile itself 

By the late 3rd Millennium BC the subsistence economy might have been
essentially pastoral. Concievable  that later in historical times  an increasing
population enforced an expanding agriculture, but I see no reason, why in the
North  free cattle farmers in  Neolithic or Bronze Age times should voluntarily
work like farm-hands. If needed that was up to slaves.

Compared with Egypt and Sumer it might be
prehistorically misleading to use
agriculture being  a cultural basis even for a North culture.

Norbert Benecke *Der Mensch und seine Haustiere. (Die Geschichte einer
jahrtausend-alten Beziehung. 1994)*
                           1-stock farming or agrr  10.3.03-, 02.07

Next   The Problem to digest fresh milk

The Lactase gradient from North to South. A bilogical reference pointing to the North