Man, cattle and forest pasture

                    On what basis a neolithic North Culture developed ?

In general the culture in an area substantially depends on the given local economic
conditions, especially temperatur and water supply.The prosperity of Egypt *the gift
of the Nile*  was rooted in agriculture, with nomads it´s stock- farming and with the
Inui the basis is the hunt and fishing.

This in  mind, concerning the  economic basis of  the North: The coastal area of the
western Baltic Sea lies on  the  latitude of  Newfoundland and 
Kamschatka, at that
early  time  for  a  human being  worldwide an extrem 
area to live in. A latitude of a
habitat for bears, reindeer and elk.

It´s  the golf stream  and a  mostly constant  rainy west wind  which allowed
*post -Magdalénian reindeer hunter* to survive in the neolithic North.
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Problem:   How is one to imagine the beginning of a rein-
deer hunter settlement in the North after the end of the ice
age about 12000 years B.P.?

Could be a fundamental question,  because  the common
teaching conception  connects  the cultural  development 
in  the North with  the  acceptance of a gradual  northward 
´diffusion´ of  agriculture  from  the more developed  Near
East since the 6th millennium BC.

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Hypothesis
              In the North cattle turned a mesolithic
virgin forest into an open                                     
                                               * Danish pasture*

If  Buffalo  (Prairie) or Gnus (Serengeti) can  form herds , then a competition  between
´cattle´ and deciduous trees may develop. A  biological fight, which  usually the hard-
wood forest loses, because cattle like the leaves of trees.
They feast in the light forests and prevent thereby the new generation of young trees.
I.e cattle may root out a wood. The study of pollen and spores (Palynology) supports
this view.

It is established that alterations in European forest´s makeup were induced by climatic
changes over the many thousands of years since glacial ice disappeared from northern
Europe. A relationship was thus stablished between the pollen content of the peat, the
age  ( i.e., position in  the  bog),  and  climate. Consequently  changes  in  the pollen
content reflect regional changes in forest composition.

Around 2300 to 1800 B.C.no actual change in the composition of the oak mixed wood-
land in Denmark  could be determined in polling contents of  the  moorlands,
probably
however a strong expansion of such herbs, which belong to an open grass
landscape.

           That  points to the existence of around pulling herds of cattle
                           in
far streched pasturland. (Broendsted 1969)

Problem:  A culture shaping competition between cattle and deciduous tree developed
An unequal biological fight because regenerating young trees had no chance.
In general
the forests lost and became destructetd.
A clearing of open grass landcapes caused by a competition between wood and cattles
is shown up to  day in the New  Forests in South England. The area served the Normanic
rulers as royal hunting ground and meat supplier. Until to day cattle and horse
can freely
pull around in this protected area  Between large open spaces are individual
forest areas,
which are forest-economically operated. To day these forests are protected 
by gates
against the cattle.
                                                New Forest

        

 Hypothesis:
The  post reindeer  hunter  learned  that  it was worth  the  trouble to protect the cattle
against bear and wolf  and make its surviving more easier by feeding them during  the
winter               
                The former hunter no longer hunted the auerochs
                                      he learned to take care

The basis  of a special cultural  development of the  isolated Nordic Post-Magdalénian

becomes recognizable  A culture shaping  partnership, a symbiosis between humans

and cattle develops in the North.


First only one family in a clearing with some cattle. By the forest pasture of cattle young

trees could not sufficiently regenerate .Thereby the clearing, the family and the number

of  the cattle  became slowly larger and larger. With milk, blood and meat of the cattle

the post Post-Magdlénian former reimdeer hunter could adapt and survive.

The families had to live closely together with their animals in their clearing, because the
animals  must  be milked  daily. Necessarily  they needed a sufficient distance to their
neighbours. In  consequence  they need no villages or even  cities.From  the point of  a
dairy farmer good forr nothing.

Even later on in historical times Tacitus described a typical northern living  habit
" It is well known that the people of Germany have not cities,and that they do not even
tolerate closely contiguous dwellings. They live scattered and apart, just as a spring,a
meadow, or a wood has attracted them".Germania (16)

         
                                           
 Bronze Age longhouse

The three-aisled longhouse,  ‘longhouse’ being used here as a technical term to indicate
a farm with a living  area and a byre included.
The number of cows that could be housed
in Bronze Age farms was rather large: 30 head may not have been an exception.

Given data seem to indicate that  the transition from an earlier  two-aisled to the three-
aisled  farm
took place not much later than 1800  B.C.
Whether cows were already held
in the Neolithikum in cow stalls in or at the house
is still 
disputable

Thus cattle represented an important economic, social and ideological factor in the daily
life of northern  Bronze Age farmer.
Strong support comes from biology.The Northerners
of to day are
lactosetolerant. They can drink  fresh  milk.Normal´ grown up mammalians
can´t
..Lactosetolerance is worldwide typical DNA for milk drinking humans (s.later)

Problem: Why did people keep their cattle inside the  house? We are so used to it that
we hardly realise that outside the lowlands of north-western Europe the housing of people
and  animals in one  and the same building is unusual  If we go back to the roots of this
tradition, it is generally assumed that  its  origins  lay  somewhere  in  the  Bronze Age,
between 1800 and 1500 BC
(Fokkens (Google))
Likely to accept  a close  economical, social and mythological  connection. Both cattle
within the longhouse and worshipping the cow appear to have been important symbols
for a northern Bronze Age society. 

Facit

                                                          In the North a partnership developed, a  SYMBIOSIS  between
                                                                  humans and cattle. A culture based on dairy farming
.

Broendsted, J. Die nordische Vorzeit, 1960

1-forest pasture 24.10.03

Index

Next  In the North Stock-farming or Agriculture ?

For climatic reason agriculture had been *second hand * in the early North
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