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Stone Age Humans Brought Red Deer to Scotland by Sea

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posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 07:35 PM
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I believe they kept red deer as livestock. Much like people today keep elk and reindeer. They would have been easily transported as livestock. If anyone has ever been to a deer park, the deer intermingle with visitors, getting corn treats and such.




posted on Apr, 11 2016 @ 11:23 PM
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a reply to: errorcode


We are pretty much taught that in school.

'Civilisation has advanced .

We are indeed so taught. Because it is true.

Our admiration for the achievements of our ancient forebears should not prevent us from perceiving this.


edit on 11/4/16 by Astyanax because: of more cargo.



posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 04:47 AM
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originally posted by: Caver78
Found the original study!!!

rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org...





Figure 2.
Bayesian phylogeny constructed using MrBayes v. 3.2.2 of all comparable ancient red deer samples, generated in this study and in previous studies, from Ireland, the Outer Hebrides, Orkney, the Inner Hebrides/mainland Scotland and Norway. The tree was rooted with Cervus nippon as an outgroup. (Online version in colour.)


Having read the paper, I am left wondering why there is no discussion about whether the ancient DNA sources, bones retrieved from middens, could be butchered meat, killed elsewhere, preserved and transported. This would explain why some samples show no correspondent relationship with local populations, ancient or modern, and in no ways limits the possibility that live deer were also transported (due to a preference for that food) once settlements were established.



posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 07:42 AM
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originally posted by: StoutBroux
I believe they kept red deer as livestock. Much like people today keep elk and reindeer. They would have been easily transported as livestock. If anyone has ever been to a deer park, the deer intermingle with visitors, getting corn treats and such.




They must have been pretty yummy to go through all that.

Nice find OP!



posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 01:12 PM
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a reply to: Anaana
Good points anaana,

My main objection to their methodology, is that the red deer would have to have been domesticated, to be able to coral them onto a boat. If said deer were domesticated to that point, what happened to domesticated branches.



posted on Apr, 12 2016 @ 11:45 PM
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originally posted by: beansidhe
a reply to: Caver78

This is a particularly interesting study, because the claim is that the ancestory of mainland Scotland's deer is different from that of Orkney and the Outer Hebrides. When you think that there was an extensive Neolithic culture on Orkney, you can't help but wonder if the UK experienced a top-down (from North to South) cultural expansion, and similarly a west to east (across Europe) expansion again. Just some musings.


Hopefully there will be a follow up report with the findings.
Thanks for posting.


No. Shetlands and Orkneys were covered by glaciers and ice sheets at the Last Glacial Maximum. With sea levels below present the Orkneys and Shetland were connected to mainland Scotland in one giant peninsula. But the region was uninhabitable.

First, the Shetland became islands during the transition between the Paleolithic to the Mesolithic. While the Orkneys were still connected to mainland Scotland. Meanwhile cavemen had been living in southern Scotland since the LGM.

But the groups who colonized the Shetlands were not the cavemen. The people who colonized the Shetlands were ancient mariners who ate a diet of seafood (like the midden site). Then they began to import other animals on their boats.

There are many fascinating archeology sites in the Shetlands and the Orkneys.

Great topic Caver78.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 02:47 AM
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originally posted by: punkinworks10
a reply to: Anaana
Good points anaana,

My main objection to their methodology, is that the red deer would have to have been domesticated, to be able to coral them onto a boat. If said deer were domesticated to that point, what happened to domesticated branches.



Thanks punkinworks10.


There are ways and means I am sure, but transporting a wild animal, like the Red Deer, could put the crew of a vessel in danger. You can't just hog tie a wild deer and expect it to lay there docile and calm. it's going to struggle until it either escapes or kills itself.

At Uan Afuda cave, in the Sahara, there is evidence of wild sheep and goats being kept in enclosures up to around 8000 BC. The leg bones show repeated traumas consistent with kicking and probably attempting to jump, against or over barriers that enclosed them. Wild animals don't just give up the "freedom reflex", it's a reflex, they can't. Plant evidence from the cave suggests that soporifics, such as echium or willow, were used to pacify the animals, a dosed up deer may be reasonable to transport for a short time.

I am also wondering if a red deer can swim 7 km under normal circumstances, I am sure it can swim at least twice as much as that under duress or because it has no other choice. Perhaps a boat could "drive" or "hound" a deer to cross a known expanse of water?? We were adept at corralling at that point, corralling into water should not have been too difficult and we're quite the experimenters, as a species.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 03:07 AM
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How about a barge?

Big caged barge, lots of good tender hay or whatever.

Probably closed off so they can't see anything, too.

Just tow it like a garbage scow. Use 2 or 3 tow boats.

I mean, how many could they take in 1 boat anyway?

And why do it in the first place, if not for a food source?

Taking 40-50 at a time makes a lot more sense than tied up in the bottom of a boat.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 03:15 AM
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a reply to: burgerbuddy

That's a highly labour intensive process. Wild animals don't just "settle down". The barge would stink of humans, their predators. A lone, or a couple of animals heavily constrained perhaps, but anything else as you suggested, the animals would need to be domesticated.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 05:05 AM
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originally posted by: Anaana
a reply to: burgerbuddy

That's a highly labour intensive process. Wild animals don't just "settle down". The barge would stink of humans, their predators. A lone, or a couple of animals heavily constrained perhaps, but anything else as you suggested, the animals would need to be domesticated.



You would only need the bull and the rest would follow.

they can be driven and herded with dogs into an enclosure.

Either wrangle the bull or have him for dinner.

lol, did they have the frikin wheel back then?



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 06:03 AM
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originally posted by: punkinworks10
a reply to: Anaana
Good points anaana,

My main objection to their methodology, is that the red deer would have to have been domesticated, to be able to coral them onto a boat. If said deer were domesticated to that point, what happened to domesticated branches.



Good point, as always!
Maybe it's time to look for some indigenous stories for a clue? Surely there are some remnant stories of Red Deer in different cultures that "might" point us to what happened to those other domesticated branches?

Just off the top of my head, thinking the Aurochs were the predecessors to cows, it's possible Red Deer were seen as being the lesser of two monumentally difficult food sources and slightly easier to wrangle?

The Pic of mine was taken at a farm that raises Red Deer for hunting and food. The owner went into the difficulty and no, despite them being captivity bred and around humans they never do settle down like Caribou do. Just getting that big guy into the stall for pick-up was a monumental undertaking. He was off to be a stud bull, lucky guy!
Even captive Elk are more settled down in captivity than Red Deer. Knowing this is why this article stunned me so much.



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 06:05 AM
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a reply to: Anaana

Very interesting that herbal sedatives were being used that long ago in practical applications!! You've pointed me in a new google-fu direction, THANKS!!!





posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 06:19 AM
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originally posted by: punkinworks10
a reply to: Anaana
Good points anaana,

My main objection to their methodology, is that the red deer would have to have been domesticated, to be able to coral them onto a boat. If said deer were domesticated to that point, what happened to domesticated branches.



No more so than the herds tended by Deer herders in Finland and Mongolia - they would need "enough" domestication to get them to corrals where they could then be loaded. Defining what "enough" domestication is though would be a very tricky task!

Also, do not forget that Britain began to be settled and then the Ice Age kicked in again for a couple of thousand years, meaning the settlers started to leave again. Perhaps by the time people arrived back in the area, bears, etc had eaten most of the deer! Or natural disease, or excessive cold, etc, etc.

You have raised a very interesting point though.......



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 06:21 AM
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This is a little OT, but loosely connected.

Northern Peoples had/have connections to the animals they use as food sources, and while we know next to nothing about how Stone Aged Man related to the Red Deer, it's not unlikely they had some type of relationship.

The Nenet Peoples like many other Northern Cultures such as the Inuit and Sammi still see their life as a collaboration with their herds.



There are dozens of different types of reindeer that are instantly recognisable to the Nenets amid a herd of thousands and for each of which a separate word exists in the Nenets language. An example is the sacred reindeer: each person and each god has its own sacred reindeer which must never be killed until it is too old to walk. When a sacred reindeer is finally killed they find another similar-looking one to take its place and smear the dead reindeer’s blood on it.

Another example of a distinct reindeer type is hand-raised (orphaned) reindeer. The Nenets take these reindeer into their chums and bring them up until they are old enough to fend for themselves. These reindeer will never be killed. Instead, the Nenets give them away to other families when they are too old to walk. That family will kill it and will return the gesture by giving one of its own hand-raised reindeer in exchange. Throughout their lives, hand-raised reindeer can live with the herd of with the people in the chum they grew up in and move quite freely between the two. They are the only reindeer to eat human food such as bread.

www.yamalpeninsulatravel.com...


This is something I'm curious about with Red Deer as this is the oldest time this species has been tied to an ancient peoples in a concrete way. It's not too far of a leap to assume something more of import is to be found along these lines.



www.survivalinternational.org...

I could be wrong and Red Deer are implicated in the French Pictoglyphs and those pre-historic peoples? If so my apologies.
edit on 13-4-2016 by Caver78 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 03:09 PM
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a reply to: MapMistress

No to which? That there was not a North to South cultural expansion or that there couldn't have been a West to East expansion?
I'm not sure who you mean when you talk about cavemen, but there is good evidence of Aberdeenshire being settled over 10,000 yrs ago, and Cramond at Edinburgh sometime before that. Islay, Argyllshire has a possible Mesolithic site.

Caver's deer are from around 5000 years ago, when Orkney and the Outer Hebrides were thriving. I don't think they found the same deer samples on Shetland?



posted on Apr, 13 2016 @ 03:18 PM
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a reply to: Anaana

This is a long shot, but they might not have needed to swim the full 7km? A lot of Orkney has sunk, even since the Neolithic - there was a submerged stone circle found not that long ago and resulting study:

www.abdn.ac.uk...


The evidence suggests that the sea only reached present levels around Orkney some 4000 years ago. When people first came to Orkney some 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age the islands comprised a very different landscape to today. Over time, since then, rising sea- levels have gradually reduced the amount of land available and broken the single landmass into an archipelago of smaller islands . The prehistoric inhabitants of Orkney were no strangers to sea- level rise.


Another possibilty, I guess, is that these deer used to be native everywhere and became extinct on the mainland?



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 03:26 AM
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originally posted by: burgerbuddy
lol, did they have the frikin wheel back then?


Unlikely. Plus, the terrain was unsuitable. Sledges possibly.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 03:51 AM
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originally posted by: beansidhe
a reply to: Anaana

This is a long shot, but they might not have needed to swim the full 7km?


7 km is the amount that Red Deer are known to be able to swim, the distances involved though would have required the Deer to swim up to 26 km, over three times that. I imagine that if you stuck the bleating faun of a dominant female on the back of a boat you might get her to swim much, much further than she would under normal circumstances. I know I would, but that only accounts for isolated deer, not a sustainable, breeding population.


originally posted by: beansidhe
A lot of Orkney has sunk, even since the Neolithic - there was a submerged stone circle found not that long ago and resulting study:


That is definately a possible factor. That period represents a whole swathe of changes, some quite rapid and potentially devastating. I can understand why both humans and animals would have been forced to make transistions, and migrations of uncertain outcome.

The Orkneys are Devonian sandstones, like Norway and Sweden. When the glaciers receded, removing their vast weight, the Devonian reacted, at times, quite dramatically, by springing back up much like a ball that has been pushed down into fluid when that pressure is released. The effect in Norway and Sweden, which is a huge Devonian mass, was a period of substantial "bobs" in geological terms. Of course, in geological terms, this is an on-going process, the Orkney's are still responding to, and recovering from, the glacial retreat. All this, as well as sea level rises, would have made life in those regions highly competitive, no matter where on the food chain you are placed. Under such conditions nature gives us the choice of "fight or flight". If humans are capable of feats of supernatural strength when faced with such adversity, why not Deer? I find that scenario far more likely than humans somehow managed to convince a load of wild animals onto a boat.





edit on 14-4-2016 by Anaana because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 04:18 AM
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originally posted by: Anaana

originally posted by: burgerbuddy
lol, did they have the frikin wheel back then?


Unlikely. Plus, the terrain was unsuitable. Sledges possibly.


Ok, thanks. I wasn't sure.



posted on Apr, 14 2016 @ 04:27 AM
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originally posted by: Anaana

originally posted by: beansidhe
a reply to: Anaana

This is a long shot, but they might not have needed to swim the full 7km?


7 km is the amount that Red Deer are known to be able to swim, the distances involved though would have required the Deer to swim up to 26 km, over three times that. I imagine that if you stuck the bleating faun of a dominant female on the back of a boat you might get her to swim much, much further than she would under normal circumstances. I know I would, but that only accounts for isolated deer, not a sustainable, breeding population.


originally posted by: beansidhe
A lot of Orkney has sunk, even since the Neolithic - there was a submerged stone circle found not that long ago and resulting study:


That is definately a possible factor. That period represents a whole swathe of changes, some quite rapid and potentially devastating. I can understand why both humans and animals would have been forced to make transistions, and migrations of uncertain outcome.

The Orkneys are Devonian sandstones, like Norway and Sweden. When the glaciers receded, removing their vast weight, the Devonian reacted, at times, quite dramatically, by springing back up much like a ball that has been pushed down into fluid when that pressure is released. The effect in Norway and Sweden, which is a huge Devonian mass, was a period of substantial "bobs" in geological terms. Of course, in geological terms, this is an on-going process, the Orkney's are still responding to, and recovering from, the glacial retreat. All this, as well as sea level rises, would have made life in those regions highly competitive, no matter where on the food chain you are placed. Under such conditions nature gives us the choice of "fight or flight". If humans are capable of feats of supernatural strength when faced with such adversity, why not Deer? I find that scenario far more likely than humans somehow managed to convince a load of wild animals onto a boat.






Sounds like making them swim beyond 7km is not a great idea.

Unless you want to get rid of the weak, old and most of the young.

And how are you gonna force them into the water? Usually an animal will know where to swim to get to land before it gives out.

Getting them into open water would be harder than getting them into a dry barge.

Then again, I'm not familiar with the animal and their behaviors.



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