January 25, 2010

Migrants introduced farming to Britain

Journal of Archaeological Science doi:10.1016/j.jas.2009.11.016

Radiocarbon evidence indicates that migrants introduced farming to Britain

Mark Collard

Abstract

Archaeologists disagree about how farming began in Britain. Some argue it was a result of indigenous groups adopting domesticates and cultigens via trade and exchange. Others contend it was the consequence of a migration of farmers from mainland Europe. To shed light on this debate, we used radiocarbon dates to estimate changes in population density between 8000 and 4000 cal BP. We found evidence for a marked and rapid increase in population density coincident with the appearance of cultigens around 6000 cal BP. We also found evidence that this increase occurred first in southern England and shortly afterwards in central Scotland. These findings are best explained by groups of farmers from the Continent independently colonizing England and Scotland, and therefore strongly support the migrant farmers hypothesis.

Link

68 comments:

Maju said...

I discussed this paper here and also compared with an older similar paper on Central European and Danish Neolithic here.

Most interesting is maybe that:

1. In both cases (but not in Denmark) the initial apparent demic explosion is succeeded a few centuries later by a demic depression followed by stabilization, regardless that they are separated by two millennia. In Denmark instead there's no demic expansion with Neolithic but rather a decay.

2. In the continent, after varied second demic expansions (Megalithism-related in Germany and Denmark, Globular Amphorae in Poland), there is a clear decline with Corded Ware and Bell Beaker. This does not happen in Britain (which remained in the Megalithist abode for long yet).

3. The farmer immigrants to Britain are partly not related with Danubian culture but belong to Armorican Megalithism (Brittany, Low Normandy). Yet there is a Danubian arrival from Nord-Pas-de-Calais, an area characterized (along with Belgium and other NW French areas) earlier by a very interesting cultural diversity of Neolithic groups, many of which appear local developments.

Maju said...

Oops, second link is wrong: should be this one.

Jean said...

As you know Maju, I thought that your annotations on the population graph were very helpful. But people could be confused by:

>In Denmark instead there's no demic expansion with Neolithic but rather a decay.

At the time you are thinking of, farming had not reached Denmark. There was a dramatic population increase when it did (TRB). The rush of farmers into Southern Scandinavia and the British Isles seemed to be climate-related, as explain in the Peopling of Europe.

"Farming arrived late in northern Europe. Farmers seem to have been daunted by the northerly climate. For over a millennium they halted on the North European Plain. Then climate change made farming feasible further north around 4,000 BC. Paradoxically this was an era of global cooling. At such times the prevailing winds shift from latitudinal (east and west) to meridional (north and south). Southerly winds brought drier conditions and warmer summers to the British Isles and south-western Scandinavia."

The population fall in Germany and Poland but not so much in Denmark at the end of the Bell Beaker and Corded Ware periods may also represent a climate swing encouraging people north, though I haven't checked.

Maju said...

I had that concept from past readings but now it seems to be controversial. According to this nice reference site:

... grain impressions on Ertebølle pottery also suggest the use of domesticated cereals originating in the Near East. However, the use of early domesticates is now questioned.

Whatever the case they were more than mere subneolithic peoples. Very notable is their pottery which has been argued to be at the origins of the Funnelbeaker complex (TRB) [The earliest TRB pottery is seen as exhibiting similarities to Late Mesolithic (Ertebølle) pottery, but the construction technique is more complicated... ]. Funnelbeaker itself is a complex culture or complex that has been argued to be a "mesolitization" of Neolithic, regressive Neolithic hunter-gatherers in some cases and also to have clear influences from Eastern European Neolithic Dniepr-Don culture (but rather at a second stage than at its origins), in direct connection with Pitted Ware at both sides of the Baltic Sea. In addition Danish and NW German TRB adopted Megalithism too, all of which seems to imply that it was a very peculiar local synthesis or amalgam.

Otherwise I agree that the humid Atlantic climate was a barrier for early full Neolithization, not only in NW Europe but also in Atlantic SW Europe. The only areas in all that region where Danubian or Cardial Neolithic made an impact were Southern Portugal and the area of Belgium-North France. In both cases they are complicated stituations exhibiting unique local developments.

Maju said...

The population fall in Germany and Poland but not so much in Denmark at the end of the Bell Beaker and Corded Ware periods may also represent a climate swing encouraging people north, though I haven't checked.

If so there should not be a population decline, as Central Europe is cold enough to benefit from warmer climates.

I have checked (review my second link and browse to the "update" section) and it does seem that both population peaks are correlated with slightly warmer temperatures. But there are other warm peaks that are coincident with nothing at all. In general the climate seems quite stable and, even in the worst cases, somewhat warmer than today. Climate may have been a helper but doesn't seem the cause of these changes.

Instead, I suspect that the slash and burn type of agriculture that early farmers surely used was destructive enough to cause the decline alone, what in turn would have fueled conflicts, worsening the situation. Just a suspicion in any case.

marnie said...

Maju and Jean,

I've often been perplexed by several things in this discussion about neolithic "farmers."

I am not an anthropologist or genetic anthropologist, so please excuse me if I seem to be a little clueless on things like the "Bell Beaker and Corded Ware periods."

To my mind, the most likely candidate for a group that would have been motivated and able to move into a marginal climate, such as icy Northern Europe and the British Isles, would have been shepherds.

I'm just wondering why people keep talking about farmers, rather than perhaps, a transhumant people who both farmed and shepherded in order to subsist.

That lifestyle would account for greater mobility than families of farmers gradually, through population growth, diffusing northward.

Many European transhumant groups today seem to share some characteristics such as cheese making, to supply food for the winter and stone house built for overwintering.

I've read that sheep were first domesticated about in about 10,000 years BC in Southwest Asia.

Thanks for any thoughts you have.

Marnie

Maju said...

That's a good observation, Marnie. I'm not anthropologist in the professional sense either but just an aficionado. Jean is historian but is specialized in a totally different branch. So feel free.

Not only pastoralism but also fishing should be considered. Very specially in regard to Ertbölle, which was without doubt focused in that activity. However fishing is a predatory industry, so guess that we can't talk of Neolithic productive economy unless there's something else - and there's where the evidence seems controversial.

I imagine that if they were pastoralists we would know from the animal remains anyhow. Sometimes is difficult to discern a wild boar from a domestic pig but sheep should be pretty much unmistakable (they can be confused with goats though).

Here in the Basque Country, Neolithic was also late but, after an isolate finding of pottery, the first evidence is certainly that of sheep, with dates very similar to those of Britain. The main difference is that there is no demic explosion yet and that there is no cultural connection with the Epicardial farmers of some hundreds of kilometers to the East. Early Basque Neolithic pottery is distinct and non-Cardial (in fact not decorated at all).

The demic explosion here might have happened with the arrival of Megalithism (Chalcolithic) some centuries later and in this it would parallel both Britain and Denmark. However I know of no such study existing for this country or anywhere else in SW Europe, so I am judging from a very approximative knowledge of the general phases.

Average Joe said...

But these migrants were not necessarily from the Middle East but could be the descendants of Western European hunter-gatherers who adopted the agricultural lifestyle.

marnie said...

Maju,

Thank you for these references. I will have to look into this over the next few days.

Are you aware of any genetic anthropology groups that have tried to do a comparative genetic study of remnant transhumant populations across Europe and Southwestern Asia?

I suppose that one could also look at sheep DNA, but that is harder because so many ancient breeds have been lost.

And very nice sheep cheese. A local store imports an awesome Basque sheep cheese, round, and about a litre in volumn.

Maju said...

But these migrants were not necessarily from the Middle East but could be the descendants of Western European hunter-gatherers who adopted the agricultural lifestyle.

Or a complex mix. Not just in Britain but also at earlier stages. The question of why the cultural transition between Sesklo-style Balcanic Neolithic to somewhat distinct Danubian Neolithic in North Hungary remains unanswered to date.

...

Are you aware of any genetic anthropology groups that have tried to do a comparative genetic study of remnant transhumant populations across Europe and Southwestern Asia?.

No.

I suppose that one could also look at sheep DNA, but that is harder because so many ancient breeds have been lost.

There have been some studies on sheep and cows. Browse Dienekes' blog because I believe he commented on those too. I recall that some Orkney sheep breed seems pretty old.

A local store imports an awesome Basque sheep cheese, round, and about a litre in volumn.

Idiazabal I imagine. The name is a modern choice but the type is from "always" (at least since I can remember that's the default cheese flavor in my family).

marnie said...

Hi Joe Average,

I don't think anyone assumed an origin. . . just being really open minded about it.

But it is odd how far east you can look and see people who look like they are from the British Isles. I've often been really caught off guard by how "British looking" people from SW Asia look.

There is the famous National Geographic photo of the Pashtun girl:

http://www.eatminneapolis.com/images/pashtun.jpg

Run that by a picture of Kate Moss:

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/08_02/KateMossDM2208_468x674.jpg

Or how about this Pashtun man

http://www.joshuaproject.net/profiles/photos/p107909.jpg

against Sean Connery?

http://www.topnews.in/files/Sean-Connery_0.jpg

All very unscientific, but, without an exhaustive scientific picture, it is best to keep an open mind.

Maju said...

I don't think Pashtuns are a good example of the West Asian peoples that might have caused an impact in Europe with Neolithic (or even in Paleolithic times too). Their affinity may be more generally West Eurasian and/or mediated by Indoeuropean migrations of later date.

In general Anatolia specially but maybe also the Levant (Syria, Lebanon, Palestine) would be better candidates for that hypothetically impacting West Asian population. Many of them do in fact resemble Europeans but more in line with Mediterranean types (Nordic affinities do exist too but are rarer). Anyhow, it's very difficult to assess whether these affinities are Neolithic, Paleolithic or from later periods (or from all together), specially based only on looks.

marnie said...

Maju,

Wasn't picking out Pashtuns as THE potential candidate for a westward migration. I was just trying to point out that you can look quite far east and still find very "familiar looking Western European" facial features.

Of course, you can't just go on looks.

But I wouldn't entirely discredit "looks" either, at least a place to start.

terryt said...

"the most likely candidate for a group that would have been motivated and able to move into a marginal climate, such as icy Northern Europe and the British Isles, would have been shepherds".

That idea has a lot of merit. I'm sure I remember seeing somewhere that the inhabitants of Star Carr, in Yorkshire, had sheep that they worked with dogs. Couldn't find a reference on-line to it a few days ago when I looked. Just a reference to them having dogs.

eurologist said...

I have talked about this before, but in addition to climate, the soils of much of Northern Europe (the plains from the Netherlands to east of the Elbe river) are quite poor: they are mostly sandy with poor water retention (albeit with accessible ground water for trees and larger bushes) and poor nutrient contents. That entire area is known to have been settled last, once population pressure forced people to try to adapt. The three big river valleys have some loess/loam soil areas, but those are notorious for getting flooded in the spring (because the area is so flat); so you can do limited grazing, but much less consistent agriculture.

Of course, the relatively recent advent of the potato and artificial fertilizer changed much.

What type of agriculture the first wave of settlers (from the Danube to Belgium) practiced is well known: they had longhouses made of wood to house the people and the animals (mostly bovine), feed, and food in the winter. Much of the land was used for grazing, relatively less for growing a variety of cereals.

They preferred the heavy loess found in wide stretches along most of the secondary river systems - except in the far north.

Slash-and-burn practices allowed them to spread to poorer soils, but only temporarily; the soils were exhausted very quickly. IIRC, rotation-type farming was a much later invention.

Shepherding was originally confined to warmer, dryer, and often more mountainous areas of southern Europe (some of which in turn were much less suitable to bovines). It seems reasonable to assume that it took some time to breed sheep that could cope with the much wetter conditions of central Europe and north, and the longer winters (the animals need to be housed longer, there needs to be sufficient and sufficient quality stored feed, and the animals must resist disease under the cold/wet/muddy outdoor conditions during much of the spring and fall, and even summer). Eventually, of course, such breeds came about and were used successfully in, e.g., northern Germany (see the "Heide"/Heath - a culture landscape formed by heavy grazing: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/L%C3%BCneburger_Heide) and on the British Isles.

Of course, the climate of much of the British Isles is quite a bit milder than that of northern Germany or southern Scandinavia, so I would think shepherding there also was a second wave into more marginal areas.

eurologist said...

I should add, of course even outside the Balkans pigs and sheep were kept in small numbers in addition to cows - but sheep were used like cows in dairy farming and for local access to wool and spring meat - not in large, nomadic herds, for which most of central and northern Europe simply wasn't suitable, whereas dairy farming with cows and growing cereal (and lentils, peas, etc.) was much more efficient, as long as new and fertile land was available.

The dry eastern steppes were a different matter.

Another big problem with large-scale shepherding is the transport of final products and exchange for foodstuff like cereals. It took millennia before efficient networks and a culture of doing this were developed, and given the amount to be transported, it was almost impossible to do so before the domestication of the horse.

Maju said...

Very interesting post Eurologist, however I have a caveat with the last paragraph.

Transport of bulk goods (grain, salt, etc.) in Medieval Europe (a good reference) was mostly done with barrages along rivers and, when done by land, oxen were often the main traction (horses are faster but not so resilient nor strong). This trade in "primitive" societies anyhow was surely limited to small districts for the most part, so it would allow some people specialized in pastoralism while most were specialized in agriculture (with some animals).

Pastoralism as almost exclusive economy is anyhow documented by those times in West Asia and Africa (before horse or camel), so it was surely a viable activity, in close symbiosis with "oasis agriculture". Pastoralist semi-nomads can always go with their cattle to these "oasis" to exchange their products with sedentary farmers. Several combinations are possible including the typical specialization along gender lines (the woman takes care of the fields and home while the man is outside grazing the cattle).

Whatever the case, I am pretty sure that the first Basque Neolithic (c. 5300 BP) was pastoralist and the name of the jobs in Basque would seem to suggest that farming was considered originally hard job (nekazari < nekez-ari: effort-er). While Basque Atlantic lands are not sandy or otherwise hostile to agriculture, the high humidity (it rains more here than in London) makes agriculture difficult (prone to fungi and poor maturation) and historically the main crop has been maize and not any cereal from Asia (no references nor survivals of pre-Columbian crops other than chestnut, apples sour grapes and some veggies). I imagine they cultivated some cereals (rye?, wheat?) but with difficulty.

I understand that Oceanic climate must have been quite challenging for early agriculturalists, even with good soils, though obviously this barrier was eventually overcome.

marnie said...

The following is a rather stab in the dark guess, maybe half tongue-in-cheek fun, so please bare with me.

I've long had a curiousity about people who build in stone. I mean, why would you go to the trouble? Rocks are very heavy and they have to be hewn. A stone roof is a particularly formidable undertaking.

I can think of several advantages. Cool in summer, warm in winter. Provides defense. Plenty of building material if you live in an areas of retreating glaciers or crumbling slate mountains.

I will tell you that building in rock seems to have been past down in my family through the eons. My Dad had the most incredible fascination about landscaping with rock. My Grandfather spent almost all of his free time photographing the Canadian Rocky Mountains (and landscaping with rock). The trade of "stone mason" seems to have been long associated with the male line in my family, going back to Londonderry, in Northern Ireland, and, before than to Perthshire in Scotland.

Anyway, I've always been delighted when I find a part of Europe where stone masonry seems to be quite developed.

As I've travelled over the years, I've noticed that there seem to be some cultural characteristics that go along with the rock thing. One is cheese making, especially hard cheeses that can last a long time. These cheeses are not always made from cow milk. Another charateristic is, don't laugh, the bagpipe. Seriously, don't laugh. The bagpipes and sheep or goat herding go together along with stone buildings.

I'd add to that resume, part time oat/barley growing. Scots used to eat tons of oatmeal, especially Scottish shephards. Oh, and yes, let's add fishing.

I can't speak for the Basques, (Maju, can you help me out here?), but other than the Scots, the Sarakatsani of Greece and Bulgaria, and various groups, perhaps almost vanished, in Southern Germany, Switzerland and Italy, seem to share at least some of this odd set of characteristics.

I'm really not sure about further east.

So all one would have to do, to track down the first inhabitants of Scotland, is to track down all shephard/stone mason/cheese maker/ bagpipe player/part time oat/barley growers/fishermen, nail them down to the floor, and get their DNA!

A note of clarification about the Sarakatsani. I'm not an expert on these people. I'm not sure if they are bagpipe players. However, the Balkan bagpipe, called the Gaida, seems to be geographically co-located with the ancient range of the Sarakatsani. Gaida playing is strongly associated with shepharding in this part of the world. So is the making of delicious hard white cheese, not feta, sometimes made from cow's milk, but more traditionally from sheep or goat's milk. Barley and wheat have been grown here over the eons. Houses have been built in stone, going back beyond memory.

And yes, Maju, like the ancient Scots, it is common for the men to herd the animals to the high pastures, while the women tend the crops, their children, preserve food, and also pass their time making beautiful embroidered clothing and lace.

Maju, a final note about the chestnut, which you mentioned. (No, the chestnut tree never made it to Scotland, as far as I know.)

Northern Greeks and people of other parts of the southern Balkans are known to have augmented their diet with chestnuts for millenia. During the long years of the war and civil war, my husbands family will tell you that they survived because of the chestnut.

terryt said...

"the name of the jobs in Basque would seem to suggest that farming was considered originally hard job (nekazari < nekez-ari: effort-er)".

So do you still believe it's unlikely that farmers would abandon the practice once they reached a region with a lot of easily-hunted animals and birds?

Maju said...

Maybe you're making too wide generalizations, Marnie. Basques don't have bagpipe but have a musical pipe without the bag. Nearby Aragonese do use the bagpipe but were not for the most part Megalithic (though maybe it's original from the Pyrenees, where there was certainly Megalithism). Building with stone is too common where this material is available, even in areas that never had any Megalithism or heard of the musical pipe. Crop choice surely goes a lot with climate.

Maybe your best suggestion is that of fishing, as it's been even argued that Megalithism may have spread along cod fishing routes of the Atlantic. Basques, Portuguese, Galicians, Bretons, Irish, Danes and other formerly Megalithic peoples have all been a lot into long distance fishing and seafaring historically, though it's hard to say how was that in the Chalcolithic Era.

...

@Terry:

So do you still believe it's unlikely that farmers would abandon the practice once they reached a region with a lot of easily-hunted animals and birds?.

Uh? Did I say that?

terryt said...

"Uh? Did I say that?"

Yes. When we were discussing the Austronesian arrival on Madagascar.

Maju said...

But you demonstrated I was wrong, so why do you insist?

terryt said...

"But you demonstrated I was wrong, so why do you insist?"

I didn't realise you'd admitted it.

eurologist said...

Maju,

You are of course correct with your caveat - I should have said invention of the wheel, not horse domestication.
At any rate, I just wanted to point out that there is a bit of a logistical problem if pure pastoralists are too far removed from farmers, and I was in particular referring to the northern European plains. Sure, rivers have always been important for long-distance transportation. However, north of the Danube all major rivers run south-north, so before the east-west canals were built, there were large regions with very inefficient transport. There is even the theory that Rome eventually gave up on Germany and the other lands east of the Rhine and north of the Danube because there was no way to support the troops with the required goods. They had to collect grains and meat from the local farmers, instead - which certainly did not make the local population very happy (too many troops, too few and spread-out farmers; instead, Rome normally relied on imported grains from e.g. North Africa, and preserved/fermented fish from the Mediterranean for their troops).

On another note, of course even settled, mixed farmers have always done some minimal herding. Sometimes seasonal (in the mountains), sometimes simply to rotate the animals over different grazing grounds, and to make sure the grass and associated plants have enough time to recover for fall hay harvest.

As to the hard work: I am sure it was. I am not a specialist in this, but in the end the maximum number of animals you can keep through the winter (per labor person) must be limited by how much hay you can harvest, carry, and store, properly - while also attending to the fields, gardens, etc. I can't even imagine cutting grass with stone tools instead of, e.g., a metal scythe.

Oh, and if you have not already done so, take a look of the heath landscape pictures from my link, above. I find it a fascinating landscape - and it is quite evident that before industrial agriculture, you couldn't grow much, there, and only sheep and goats can graze there - not cows.

Maju said...

Yah, I was thinking they'd use cows/oxen for transport but guess not... if there were no carts. They'd only be viable for short/middle distance transport on sledges.

... in the end the maximum number of animals you can keep through the winter (per labor person) must be limited by how much hay you can harvest, carry, and store, properly - while also attending to the fields, gardens, etc. I can't even imagine cutting grass with stone tools instead of, e.g., a metal scythe.

That's an excellent point, specially in the cold North. But even here the grass stops growing in winter and animals are more exposed to climate rigors.

Certainly cutting grass with a stone sickle would be a waste, so I guess that they only kept cattle where they could fend off in the open for the whole year or most of it. I imagine anyhow that crops like barley have always been used primarily for animals and these, like other cereals, must have been harvested with a stone sickle before metallurgy, specially "cheap" steel metallurgy allowed for larger tools like the scythe.

I presume you could make a decent scythe from copper but I know of no such finding, so guess the very concept was not still invented (and anyhow copper was rare in Northern Europe in general back then).

Pigs are traditionally slaughtered in autumn for a reason, they are also surely the animals that best can fend off in the winter because they can feed on roots and are native from Europe. No wonder that the only animal found with the dubious "hunter-gatherers" of Pitted Ware in the Baltic were precisely pigs.

Goats also seem pretty versatile in their feeding habits, as you suggest. Though I don't think that Lüneburg was a particularly populated area in the Neolithic (nor later). The main concentration of dwellings in that area (Danubian) were at the middle Elbe, around Dresden, also some at the Wesser - and probably Turingia too. Brandenburg, for instance, was a desertic forest that was only colonized with the Baalberge culture (first Indoeuropeans in the area probably).

eurologist said...

Yes, the middle Elbe/Saale area has very good soils; around Eulau for example are some of the best soils in Germany. Much of the Brandenburg area is again (notoriously fine) sandy soil.

This cross-section explains the formation of the sandy soils and more southern loess regions in northern Germany during the ice age:

http://www.diercke.de/bilder/omeda/501/100770_055_2.jpg

On this map, 3.2 and all the 4s are bad/sandy soils, whereas the 6s are rich loess soils:

http://www.giraf2009.org/DE/Themen/Boden/Bilder/Bod__BGL5000__p,property=default.jpg

Not surprisingly, the area of the Magdeburg/Dresden/Erfurt triangle is also one of the richest in neolithic finds.

eurologist said...

Maju,

I just found this - should be a great resource, if you are interested. In particular, pages 40 - 43.

http://eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu/projects/soil_atlas/Download.cfm

eurologist said...

Certainly cutting grass with a stone sickle would be a waste, so I guess that they only kept cattle where they could fend off in the open for the whole year or most of it.

Unfortunately, even in the slightly milder climate of the early Danubian, that would have been about three to four months. You would have a free-roaming warm season, one with protection from wind and rain in field-placed animal shelters, another where you drive out the animals on a daily basis (but severely limited by the fact that the closest grazing grounds would also have been the ones harvested for hay), and then the housed period.

In the Danubian cultural area, that would probably mean something like housed because of severe frost and/or snow cover from the middle of December through the middle of March (three months), four weeks on either side of winter with (weather permitting) daily drive-outs, and another four weeks around that using on-field rain/frost shelters.

On a side note, perhaps these types of temporary wooden shelters - which would also have been required at the fringes of the earlier Balkan culture - were the precursors of the LBK longhouses (they would look awfully similar in construction, if you think about it, except with one side open but with leaning beams for support). As I have alluded to before, structures that the local pre-neolithic fishers likely build for drying and smoking fish and for living close to the numerous lakes may have also been a blueprint.

Maju said...

Thanks for the links, I'm downloading the atlas.

Remember that in the time of Neolithic spread, it was also slightly warmer overall. It happened roughly at the post-glacial climate optimum and since then the temperatures have tended to fall.

The minor climatic fluctuations within this warmer climate, as I have mentioned above, may have got something to do with the episodes of farming expansion and also with their declines, even if there were also fluctuations that don't seem to have caused anything. The overall temperature difference was anyhow of less than 1 degree Celsius (though local variations may have been sharper or smoother).

One thing is clear: if they did not collect any hay, the nearby pastures would be available, and if they did, they would not have urgent need to use them. The density of the populations was a lot smaller than recently, so the wildlands for pasture were much more extensive. Goats and pigs are not strictly dependent on grass anyhow (pigs in fact not at all), however they are almost never the basis of a pastoralist economy but rather a complement for farmers.

There has been a good deal of discussion on whether European bovine cattle was hybridized with aurochs. If so, this must have happened since the Starcevo-Köros-Cris cultural area of the Northern Balcans/Maritza/Transilvania, just before the formation of the Danubian culture. Aurochs were perfectly able to survive in the cold conditions of Europe all year round and hence hybrid cattle would also be. It was probably not the same cattle we see nowadays but a rougher breed, like the semi-wild betizu, which needs almost no care and is well adapted to woodlands and cold.

I imagine that rough sheep breeds were also selected for. Because with modern methods one can focus on mere productivity at the expense of survivability but in those times the first law of productivity was survival.

eurologist said...

I think even during the climate optimum, about three months of housing the animals would have been customary in much of central/northern Europe - as well as the necessary hay making, transport, and dry storage. In fact, the typical LBK houses support this three-fold separation into animal quarters, feed/food, and living quarters.

At any rate, all I wanted to point out is that there are a couple of extremely important thresholds to central/northern agriculture and pastoralism (as opposed to the more conventional and stone-house based Mediterranean/Balkan):

- cold/wet adaptation of animals, grains; and their preservation/storage/overwintering using newly-adapted wooden constructions,

- much later, overcoming natural boundaries (the non-fertile sandy northern regions and the seas), adapting to such different regions, and employing extended shepherding instead of the LBK set of operation - despite severe logistical/ transportation difficulties in trade.

Maju said...

At any rate, all I wanted to point out is that there are a couple of extremely important thresholds to central/northern agriculture and pastoralism...

I think we are in agreement in that, just discussing the details.

(as opposed to the more conventional and stone-house based Mediterranean/Balkan)...

Well, Danubians made their homes of, a mesh of branches and clay. This is a clearly inconvenient for the area of Oceanic climate and denotes only limited environmental adaptation by this group. Construction of houses in stone and wood seems to belong to a later period, more towards the metal ages.

But in the Chalcolithic already we see that there is a divide in funerary buildings (architecture pioneers?) between an Atlantic facade focused on stone and a more oriental area, where wood is more frequently used. Even the Danubian rondels (henges) are transformed into stone structures at that melting pot that must have been Britain in those times, while many Danubians also adopted stone funerary architecture, notably towards the Alps (possibly related to aboundance of rock but notice that the peoples of NW Germany, Netherlands and Denmark also did, in spite of likely scarcity of stone in those areas).

much later, overcoming natural boundaries (the non-fertile sandy northern regions and the seas), adapting to such different regions, and employing extended shepherding instead of the LBK set of operation...

This is probably true and relates to the "Mesolithization" of Neolithic in Northern Europe with the Funnelbeaker and Pitted Ware complex, that in many cases is largely a return to foraging (though it's unclear how complete).

marnie said...

Hi Maju and eurologist,

Just following your discussion here.

Some more thoughts and links.

The flute and bagpipe follow each other closely in their evolution. (The bagpipe allows a drone, which the flute does not. The development of the drone allows for the creation of polyphonic music, something that seems to have been explored both with flutes, voice and bagpipes through out the Southern Balkan penninsula for millenia.)

There is a particularly interesting excavation at Dispilio on Lake Kastoria (Greece), including the finding of flutes, including one that dates from the 6th millennium BCE.

The settlement at Dispilio would have had access to large game, fish, mushrooms, chestnuts and the biproducts of sheep or goat shepharding. I'm not sure how motivated they got about serious farming. I suspect the lake must have been surrounded by forest. However, today, the area is farmed for wheat.

Lactase persistance is less common in Greeks and people of the Southern Balkans than Northern Germans or the Dutch. Therefore, I suspect that the Dispilio settlement did not have cows. It is harder to digest cow milk than sheep or goat milk, and harder to digest milk than cheese. Lastase persistence seems to have developed in Central Europe.

Here's a like for the Dispilio excavation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispilio

I'm following your discussion about the ability to keep animals in the winter. To try to answer your question, I think you can easily keep ten to twenty goats or sheep enclosed for three months of the years. That's what my husband's aunt, Antigone, did for most of her life. She raised four kids like that, most of it without a husband. (He died, leaving her alone at age thirty.)

A group of shepherding families, maybe ten, would have the ability to keep ten 100 goats or sheep over the winter. By the way, they eat the "whole animal" there. No messing around with picky steak only eaters.

Even today is not uncommon to see a single family herding 500 goats, with dogs, in the Pindos of Northern Greece. The animals are walked to the lower valleys and kept in barns in the winter. The major issue for these families, and the Greek government, is to figure out how to school the children of these mobile shephards.

By the way, that part of Central Northern Greece has a continential climate, and often, a very harsh winter. It is enclosed on two sides by mountains.

My point here is to illustrate that I am not sure that you couldn't sustain a reasonably sized population with a mostly "subsistance" lifestyle. I don't think that population expansions necessarily need to be rigidly associated with the advent of grain farming.

Population expansions, or at least sustained population and movement, could just as easily be associated with the advent of herding, cheese making and diversification of diet.

I'm not sure about ancient populations being confined by geographic boundaries. There are many populations in Europe that seem to have been prolific walkers and had mobile lifestyles. They also seem to have had better seafaring abilities than we give them credit for.

The fact remains:

What's the deal with the bagpipe and the flute? How and when did these get to Western Europe and the British Isles?

Bagpipe Links:

*Gaida (Southern Balkans)
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=Ft9qUcu1mvU&feature=related

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaida

*Gaita (Asturia)
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=KrntkHadr4s
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=imd5jjR4Pwc&feature=related

*Uilleann pipes (Ireland)
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=aF3fW4Nox9U

marnie said...

Zampogna (Southern Italy)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pa4W7iA5So

marnie said...

Just checked Corsica on wiki. It also has a bagpipe, and also, interestingly enough, a tradition of polyphonic singing.

marnie said...

Corsican Polyphonic singing link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxd6YNBtT4M&feature=related

Albanian Iso-polyphonic singing link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4V2cE-LmBU

Maju said...

Lactase persistence and historical presence of cattle are, oddly enough not apparently too related. In fact lactose tolerance is highest in Atlantic Europe, not just in the North but in all the Western facade and, while these peoples might have been more prone to pastoralism because of the natural limitations of farming in some cases, other peoples were traditionally pastoralist and have only limited presence of the allele. In southern Europe, specially from Italy to the East, cheese and later also yogurt replaced raw milk. Ancient Danubians also seem to have been lactose intolerant mostly in spite of their widespread pastoralism.

The more I learn of this allele, the more it seems something random, almost effectively neutral, and not really that adaptative. You can live without milk... unless you are a toddler.

marnie said...

Yes, I'm just trying to say that people may have lived without cows (but not sheep and goats) and still travelled across or under Europe.

Here are some more bagpipe links.

This one from Turkey (Laz people):
http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=u-cohzvytR4&feature=
PlayList&p=
A39264FAFF5F240A&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=1

Quite beautiful pictures of the surrounding rugged mountains.

From a quick check, there also seems to be (or seems to have been) a Breton and Swedish bagpipe.

terryt said...

"Pigs are traditionally slaughtered in autumn for a reason, they are also surely the animals that best can fend off in the winter because they can feed on roots and are native from Europe".

And pigs have the added advantage that they produce litters. In theory you may only have to hold a pregnant sow over the winter. My brother claims he's read somewhere that pigs from the Middle East and Europe were hybridised because one (I forget which) was hardier but had smaller litters.

"There has been a good deal of discussion on whether European bovine cattle was hybridized with aurochs".

I think Dienekes had a post where it was claimed the Aurochs Y-chromosome survives in places but the mtDNA is more Middle East. Again, if bulls were locally free-roaming there would be no need to feed any bulls through the Winter.

Maju said...

... if bulls were locally free-roaming there would be no need to feed any bulls through the Winter.

But you'd end up with wild aurochsen after few generations.

My hypothesis is more in the line of obtaining, consciously or not a hybrid that was able to fend off in winter while still being tame and productive enough to be of use to humans (other than as mere hunt). Later these hybrids would be mostly lost, as the technology to keep animals fed and warm in winter improved. But initially the cattle had to be quite hardy.

marnie said...

Regarding domesticated animals:

Sheep or goats would have been the easiest to manage and the most overall economical in a marginal climate. Sheep have the added plus that you get wool as well as meat and hides.

Pigs, while prolific, are difficult to herd if you are on the move.

Cows. Huge and less economical than sheep and goats. Tough to overwinter. No wool. Less hardly than sheep and goats. Bull difficult to manage.

Britain is a dog country, indicating a long relationship with herding and hunting dogs. In particular, the dogs in Ireland and Scotland tend toward the herding type.

terryt said...

"But you'd end up with wild aurochsen after few generations".

Not necessarily because you're still selecting your females for a docile temperament. Even if by just not being able to hold the more exuberant ones. That might be why Jersey bulls are so ferocious but the cows are very docile.

"But initially the cattle had to be quite hardy".

And many of the so-called Celtic breeds, including Angus and Highland, are still noted for hardiness.

Maju said...

Sheep or goats would have been the easiest to manage and the most overall economical in a marginal climate. Sheep have the added plus that you get wool as well as meat and hides.

Bovine cattle was quite common among Balcano-Danubian peoples, unlike Cardium Pottery ones who did have an initial preference for sheep, goats and surely pigs too. Cows give more meat and more milk, they just don't give wool. They can also be used for traction (and, anecdotally, in Tanzania once they even made a cavalry troop with mounted oxen - as they did not have horses).

I presume that the main reason for CP peoples to prefer sheep and goats was that they were best adapted to the rough terrain of the Mediterranean basin (and were also easier to transport by sea).

Pigs, while prolific, are difficult to herd if you are on the move.

But farmers are typically sedentary. Pigs can also help with preparing the fields, though their manure is not as good as that of herbivores.

Cows. Huge and less economical than sheep and goats. Tough to overwinter. No wool. Less hardly than sheep and goats. Bull difficult to manage.

I disagree. Though obviously bovine cattle gained in manageability once the horse was also domesticated, the evidence indicates that they were herded in many places earlier than those dates (East and West Mediterranean and Central Europe at least).

Cows are the only domestic animal that has strong spiritual connotations being sacred in two very different cultures such as India and ancient Egypt. That's because they are most useful: they provide milk, manure for the fields, fire and even construction materials (no kidding: lots of pastoralist cultures use cow dung for many purposes), traction for the plows and the loads, and are more valuable in general than other domestic animals being among the most primitive coins.

Sheep and specially goats are probably hardier but there is not the huge difference you suggest.

Maju said...

And many of the so-called Celtic breeds, including Angus and Highland, are still noted for hardiness.

The Highland breed looks hardy, it even has long hair, giving a bison or yak vibe. But those Angus don't even have horns what in itself was surely important for survival in the past.

marnie said...

OK, agreed, certain hardy breeds of cattle, along with hardy goats and sheep, for an early pastoral lifestyle.

Again, my central point is to think about two things:

What is the most economical lifestyle that would have allowed people to push northward into a marginal climate?


Someone had to bring the bagpipes northward from somewhere in Southern Europe. Who was it?

As indicated in the first post in this thread, there were probably at least two significant migrations into the British Isles. One of them brought the bagpipe with them, I would suspect.

Looking forward to your comments tomorrow. I'm well behind you guys, still stuck in yesterday, and have to put my children to bed!

marnie said...

"Cows are the only domestic animal that has strong spiritual connotations being sacred in two very different cultures such as India and ancient Egypt. That's because they are most useful: they provide milk, manure for the fields, fire and even construction materials (no kidding: lots of pastoralist cultures use cow dung for many purposes), traction for the plows and the loads, and are more valuable in general than other domestic animals being among the most primitive coins."

Bull motifs appear in a lot of ancient Thracian and Macedonian jewelry. There are quite a number of exquisite examples on display at the Archeological Museum of Thessaloniki.

I'm not sure of the dates on these.

terryt said...

"But those Angus don't even have horns what in itself was surely important for survival in the past".

Not really, once you have domestication. In fact the polled animals may have been selectively bred from. No horns to dodge when trying to herd them.

"Bull motifs appear in a lot of ancient Thracian and Macedonian jewelry".

And way befoire then. The bull seems to have been sacred in early urban sites in Anatolia and in Minoan times. Even in Egypt we find the 'Apis Bull'.

Ponto said...

The bull worship has to do with star grazing. When the constellation Taurus was to rise at the vernal equinox. Think about it? The Spinx in Egypt, had a lion's body. Jesus was the fisher of men, Pisces. The lamb of God, Aries. It is just star worshiping superstitions.

Sorry can't read all the post. I don't know why the news of immigrants introducing an exotic Middle Eastern form of occupation, with exotic plants and animals should be so strange. The Neolithic farmers over landed using the river systems to Central Europe and beyond, and also traveled by boat along the Mediterranean Sea by saltatory movements. Once in Iberia or France it is no great problem getting to Britain.

eurologist said...

Marnie,

The archeological evidence seems to indicate that early farmers were sedentary, and preferred goat/sheep in the Mediterranean, and cows in central and northern Europe - initially (and for the climatic, soil, and transport reasons Maju and I expanded upon, above). Yes, the Danubians also had pigs and sheep, because it is quite practical to just bring a few of them through the long winters.

(As to the colder parts of Greece: the climatic optimum was milder than today, and of course, early farmers anyway would have picked the warmer valleys, first).

Of course, nomadic peoples tend to leave less remains, so you have a bit of a point in that we certainly don't know everything. Yet, the use of shepherding in the marginal northern regions, but millenia after agriculture was introduced in Europe, is indeed well documented.

As to the wooden houses: as opposed to rocks/stone, the material was available locally on the Loess planes (that the farmers knew to select for fertility), and building was not too time-consuming. The initial structures probably lasted just one generation (~25 years), because they did not realize until later that the main posts should be set on stone - they rotted away from the bottom.

Maju, the braided wood/loam construction is just for the side walls, which did not carry any load. Load was carried by main posts and beams. And the sloping roof almost completely covered the walls, so they would not get damaged by rain (and additional dry storage space was formed). I agree, though, everything point to this being a logical evolution from a former construction with another purpose (as I alluded to above).

In the sandy north, rocks are "Findlinge"
http://images.google.com/images?q=findlinge
- so they do exist (sparsely) - but you have to find them! ;) Those ice-age remnants were used for funerary architecture, but are evidently not practical for buildings, for the most part.

My guess is that it took some time for the first farmers to actually achieve longer life spans and think about the advantage of higher-cost, but longer-lasting housing. In the areas where no suitable rocks can be found locally (again, all this is pre-wheels!), eventually someone thought that making ceramic rocks (bricks) from clay was worth the effort. I am too tired to look up when this occurred...

Finally, sausages!
"Slaughtering fests" still have a tradition in much of central and northern Europe. It's not just an all-you-can-eat before the winter, getting rid of pigs and cows you can't afford to carry through. Air-dried and smoked sausages and ham will actually last all the way through spring, in those climates, without any other preservation (except salt against external mold, if available).

Maju said...

Someone had to bring the bagpipes northward from somewhere in Southern Europe. Who was it?

Megalithic peoples from Portugal or Bronze Age peoples of the same area.

marnie said...

terryt,

Thanks for your comments on Bull motifs appearing in Minoan and Egyptian artifacts.

I went to the "Bactrian Hoard" exibit last year (The one that was found in Afghanistan). There are many bull motifs there as well. I got into a conversation with an archeologist there and was asking him about some of the things I had seen at the Thessaloniki Archeological Museum.

One thing he told me is that there is a current area of work looking at the artistic and goldsmith abilities of the Thracians. I would suspect that the Thracians may be an ancient civilation, along with the Minoans and the Egyptians. They just don't appear to have written much down.

Thought you might be interested, since the Egyptians and Minoans get a lot of PR. The Thracians and the tribes of the Central Asian Steppe seem to be less recognized and less documented.

marnie said...

Ponto:

"I don't know why the news of immigrants introducing an exotic Middle Eastern form of occupation, with exotic plants and animals should be so strange. The Neolithic farmers over landed using the river systems to Central Europe and beyond, and also traveled by boat along the Mediterranean Sea by saltatory movements. Once in Iberia or France it is no great problem getting to Britain."


I don't think that people would say it was strange. But who, how, and when?

marnie said...

Eurologist,

No argument with the farming methods, cattle and crops along the Danube. You clearly know more about it that I.

There does seem to be a German bagpipe. It is most similar in construction to the almost extinct Swedish bagpipe.

http://www.sackpfeifen.de/deutschsack/dudel1e.htm

"As to the wooden houses: as opposed to rocks/stone, the material was available locally on the Loess planes (that the farmers knew to select for fertility), and building was not too time-consuming. The initial structures probably lasted just one generation (~25 years), because they did not realize until later that the main posts should be set on stone - they rotted away from the bottom."

The stone houses in Greece have wooden posts and bems. In fact, the beams are massive, to support the traditional slate roofs. Not sure about the construction of the foundation.

Regarding sausages. The meat thing is always somewhat amusing when I've gone to Germany. As I do not speak German, ordering at a restaurant always requires a little bravery.

Greeks have "slaughtering fests" too. Apart from sausages that are in the German style, they also make kokoretsi.

The Scots have haggis.

Not saying that Greeks are the Danubians or anything like that. Just noting the similarity in ancient customs across Europe.

Here is another pre/quasi-Christian custom that spans various corners of Europe:

The Vasilopita celebration, also celebrated in France as Galette des Rois. I don't think this is celebrated in the British Isles, but Twelfth Night used to be.

Thanks for all the information about animals, sausages, house construction and crops. It has been enlightening.

If your interested in British farming methods and architecture before the industrial revolution, I highly recommend "Walks and Talks of an American Farmer in England" written by Frederick Law Olmstead, 1850.

marnie said...

Maju,

My bagpipe theory got more complicated this morning. I found a German bagpipe.

I agree that the Irish uilleann pipes and Scottish Bagpipe look most closely related to the Asturian gaita.

But how do you explain the Sicilian zampogna. It is thee most primitive looking of all the bagpipes I have looked at.


How did the Zampogna get to Sicily?

Also, the Zampogna and Balkan Gaida look very closely related.

Maju said...

Maybe they all come from Cyprus or whatever. They might also be Indoeuropean or Neolithic or who knows?! Sadly perishable materials leave very few remains, if any, so it's not like it'd be easy to find out.

Maju said...

Per Wikipedia, bagpipes exist in all Europe and West Asia. The oldest reference seems to be to Roman emperor Nero playing an instrument with either the mouth or the armpit, so it seems to be a bagpipe. Then the references go to the Middle Ages and. in Northern Europe, at later dates.

marnie said...

According to the following link, Aristophanes, the Greek playwright, mentions the bagpipes as being "waspy sounding."

http://www.sackpfeifen.de/
deutschsack/dudel1e.htm

Maju, perhaps you would agree.

Moving on from the bagpipes, it occured to me that since we are interested in pastoralism, and specifically cattle, I know of a reference for "cattle driving"
into unknown territory.

It is recorded in a geneology of my paternal grandmother's family: Geneology of the Olmstead family in America.

(page xvii)

"". . . Nor were these emigrants," as Green declares, "like the earlier colonists of the South, 'broken men,' adventurers, bankrupts, criminals; or simply poor men and artisans, like the Pilgrim Fathers of the Mayflower. They were in great part men of the professional and middle class; some of them men of large landed estate."

"Of the latter class was our honored relative, James Olmsted, who, together with two sons, Nicholas and Nehemiah, two nephews, Richard and John, and a niece, Rebecca, arrived in New England, on the Lord's Day, Sept. 16, 1632, in the ship "Lyon", under Capt. Pierce, after a voyage of 12 weeks from Braintree, England. There were 123 passengers, of whom 50 were children."

(page xviii)

" . . . There, the Braintree Colony, as it was termed, abode until the summer of 1636, when, dissatisfied by the form of government of the colony of Massachusetts and tempted by the charm of this pleasant Connecticut valley, of which they had heard reports, they "took departure from Cambridge," and in the words of Trumbull, "travelled more than a hundred miles through a hideous and trackless wilderness, to Hartford. They had no guide but their compass; made their way over mountains, through swamps, thickets and rivers, which were not passable but with great difficulty. They had no cover but the heavens, nor any lodgings but those which simple nature afforded them. They drove with them a hundred and sixty head of cattle, and by the way, subsisted on the milk of their cows. Mrs. Hooker (who was ill) was borne through the wilderness upon a litter. The people generally carried their packs, arms and some utensils. They were nearly a fortnight on their journey."

So, looking at a map of Northern France, a really determined group could probably walk village + cattle, along river valleys, from Strasbourg to Nord-Pas-Du-Calais, 200 miles, in about four weeks. (A fortnight is two weeks.)

marnie said...

"In Nigeria the hollow jointed stem is commonly used to make pipe stems, flutes and the mouthpiece of the Hausa bagpipe called algaita"

Check out the link:

"Useful plants of West Tropical Africa"
http://www.aluka.org/action/
showMetadata?doi=10.5555/AL.AP.UPWTA.2_690&pgs=&cookieSet=1

Bagpipe-R1b Theory is holding up pretty well.


Marnie Dunsmore

marnie said...

Bagpipe-R1b Theory

The Bagpipe, strongly differentiated and of ancient origin, most likely originated in SW Asia. It is intimately linked with a pastoral sheep/goat/cattle herding people who also carry an R1b haplogroup signature.

The inseparability of R1b pastoralism and the bagpipe suggest that the instrument fulfilled some essential herding function.

The presence of the bagpipe might be used to narrow in on R1b populations for the purpose of haplogroup evolution testing.

Significantly, the Hausa people of Tropical West Africa play a bagpipe, are a pastoral people and carry the R1b haplogroup in greater than 40% of men.

Differentiation and innovation in bagpipe style, from primitive to finely developed, may also correlate with a westward migration from the cradle of R1b pastoralism.

Copyright (c) 2010 by Marnie Dunsmore. All Rights Reserved.

eurologist said...

The stone houses in Greece have wooden posts and bems. In fact, the beams are massive, to support the traditional slate roofs. Not sure about the construction of the foundation.

That is now - the stone houses in the Balkans and the Danubian long houses were 8,000 years ago. I don't know much about the Balkan stone houses - but if they were like their Anatolian predecessors, beams were only used to enable door ways and to support roofs - not to support the entire structure and the weight of the roof with wooden pillars.

Maju said...

Agreed, Eurologist. Modern "traditional" houses are not representative of Neolithic housing. Early Balcanic homes were made of mudbrick just as in West Asia, even creating the same kind of artificial hills known as "tells" ("magoulas" in Greek, I believe).

Marnie is probably making up too much of "modern" evidence. She needs to go to the public library and read a few books on European late prehistory, IMO.

marnie said...

I'd like to thank you, Maju and eurologist, for your information on farming and construction in Europe.

Still, I'm going to carry on with my bagpipe idea, as it appears that every group with significant R1b occurance seems to play or have played a version of the bagpipe, including the Hazara and the Hausa. The only R1b group I can find that does not appear to have played a bagpipe are the Balkarians. They play the flute.

I wish you a nice weekend.

marnie said...

Thought I'd record this reference, which I managed to refind over the weekend, regarding Spartan "pipes."

"Soldiers were always aware of the nature and caliber of the troops posted opposite them; the sight of the scarlet cloaks and long hair of the men of a Spartan phalanx especially brought fear into the hearts of most opponents. (Xenophon: Respublica Lacedaemoniorum 10.3.8:98) And poor Kleon, commanding the Athenians in their defeat at Amphipolis in 422, we are told, took off at a run as soon as he saw the Lambdas on the Spartan shields shining across the plain. (Eupolis: F 359:99) The Spartan phalanx--with reason--was carefully groomed by Agesilaos so that his troops might look like "one mass of bronze and scarlet." (Xenophon: Agesilaos 2.7: 99) Once the Persians made their way around the pass at Thermopylai they had to be assured that the Greek pickets there were not really Spartan hoplites--so great had the fear of those soldiers become to them. (Herodotus: 7.218.1-2:99) Just as frightening was the infamous sound of the Spartan pipes, which signaled to the front ranks of the enemy across the battlefield the onset of the slow, dreadful advance. (Xenophon, Cyropaedia: 3.3.58:99)(Aeschylus, Septum contra Thebas: 270; Persae 389)(Thucydides, 5.70) 'It was a sight at once awesome and terrifying,' Plutarch remarked, 'as the Spartans marched in step to the pipe, leaving no gap in their line of battle and with no confusion in their hearts, but calmly and cheerfully advancing into danger.' (Plutarch, Lycurgus, 22.2-3)"

From "The Western Way of War: Infantry Battle in Classical Greece" by Victor David Hanson, page 99.

onix said...

woo what an impressive nr of comments. about the expansion of agriculture and domestic animals, i know the following: all the way from the balkans to western germany the pattern of introduction of agriculture was the same, slash and burn and agriculture mixed with modest numbers of sheep and what else they had, not a lot, i forgot if anything else was there at the time of first introduction but sheep. maybe goat. the dispersal rate was rather equal over the whole distance, because the foremost fronts used that slash and burn system. to move on after exhaustion of the ground wich roughly took ten miles per generation and burn new pristine (allthough sparsely inhabited) forested lands. there is no indication i know of of seperate shepherds, or 'herding tribes'. its quite easy to see all the small acre's, mh that seems logical in dutch, pieces of tilted land (akkers) , coincide with the first sheep bones. maybe cows as well i vaguely recollect, however the sheep have been demonstrated to specifically be genetically similar all the way from the balkans (anatolia at first) to the west of germany. that proved they did not move so slow that the domesticated species adapted or was adapted. it also shed some light about the question raised, since it showed there was basically only one culture involved in that introduction. except that this development gave rise to the first soldier classes and hierarchic structures (probably inheritable authority) it is also worth mentioning that it has been shown that fortification of settlements mostly took place in the front of the expansion. it happened quite often but by far not allways. it's assumed that since the agriculturists moved in a western direction they would only fortify where they met dedicated resistance, for wich there is some proof in the sense of settlements that have been both fortified (with ramparts) and attacked.
ill read all teh comments at some point, perhaps i am completely superfluous. just wanted to point out this question has been relatively thoroughly researched from several viewpoints.

Maju said...

i know the following: all the way from the balkans to western germany the pattern of introduction of agriculture was the same, slash and burn and agriculture mixed with modest numbers of sheep and what else they had, not a lot, i forgot if anything else was there at the time of first introduction but sheep. maybe goat.

Not really, Onix. The main domestic animal of the Western Lineal Pottery Culture (LBK) was the cow/ox, with increase in size even at the previous Starcevo-Koros-Cris cultural area of the Northern Balcans, that has been speculated to be related to local domestication of aurochs.

Additionally, there was an important agricultural production: two variants of wheat, rye, green peas, lentils, linen and, in the West (Germany), also opium.

Goat and, specially, sheep were dominant in the Cardium Pottery group of the Adriatic and Western Mediterranean, where high seas fishing (and hence navigation) was also important, along with agriculture (wheat, rye, legumes).

Hunting was somewhat important in LBK (10%) and maybe more in CP.

it is also worth mentioning that it has been shown that fortification of settlements mostly took place in the front of the expansion.

I know of no such fortifications, at least not in the early stages. Rondels or "camps" (similar to henges: wooden enclosures with an internal ditch and typically four widely open gates) are generaly considered to be religious or otherwise "cultural" buildings and show no indications of inhabitation.

The first (controversial) fortifications in European Neolithic appear in the Balcans, after the establishment of the, probably intrusive, Vinca-Dimini cultural complex (black-beige pottery).

In Central Europe, the first tendency towards fortifications belongs to the early Lengyel period (5th milennium, also early 4th milennium further north), long after the initial Danubian expansion, when it was already getting very much regionalized. They mostly consist of moving settlements to high places, though in some cases do show signs of fortification as well (ditch, stockade and ramparts). This trend is still limited to the Lengyel area, that includes Moravia, West Hungary, East Austria and West Slovakia. It might be more a defensive trend against the Vinca intruders or other Danubian groups than against unknown huntergatherers not anymore known to exist in the region so late. Alternatively it might represent internal warfare between communities of the Lengyel culture itself.

Another cultural area that shows some signs of fortifications is Pre-Cucuteni (Moldavia, SW Urkaine) but these are limited to ditches before Chalcolithic.

In Chalcolithic times fortifications and surely warfare would become more common, this trend is no doubt associated to the stratification of society and higher population densities, and is more intense in the more civilized Balcans (and south Iberia).

onix said...

random additions: since the sickle existed in stone tool variety ofcourse it existed in copper. i think a few examples are known, interestingly also animal jaws have been used as sickle and as such the concept may have been of unretrievable anciety, ie paleotlithic.
there are no indications i know of the main culture bearer was replaced by locals anywhere except in the most extreme parts of the continent. examples, estonia, were the transition was peacefull and teh groups mixed. netherlands where the locals stole the technologys and adapted them in a rather different way that suited the landscape , (ie. smaller pieces of tilted land, that centred more around sth similar to hamletts then settlements (villages). i allways think of bretagne (in france) that way (not familiar with the archeology tho), and i think it has been shown for the more remote islands in the northsea (faroer). oddly in denmark the bell ceramics culture was (very near) completely , abruptly and violently extinguished.(oddly because it is an extremity of the continent, and such didn't happen to any great or comparable extend in eg. netherlands resp. germany (or as i mentioned estonia)). the explanation might be in that the dutch terrain was extremely inaccesible (swampy) and estonia populated by relatively small numbers of agriculturalists (cold). the ertbolle culture was thriving and appears to have put up a rather stif fight,(tehres a sequence of devastated settelments) but denmark is relatively easily accesible. (dry). btw netherlands does have a rather large proportion of fertile land (river and sea clays) its not all sand at all. the admixture of glacial dunes and the river silts produced an examplary fertile soil, and flooding of the rivers was in many places contained with like glacial dunes, as a result you see roman roads and celtic settlements both appear on the seperation between the sandy areas and areas where the rivers still overflow the land most of the years (where also post roman population still centred) . the heath landscape at least overhere (in netherlands) is largely post roman, that means the subsistance on sheep is, since it were the roman that cut down the dutch forests, wich persisted mostly through the shift to agriculture. next , the admixture of the cultures was not great, either the agriculturalists replaced the original population, (denmark and germany to anatolia), wich would mean ofcourse they took over the game and fish resources,it is assumed by claiming to much of the natural resources but more specifically a to great portion of the land, or the distinction remained for much longer like in netherlands (and perhaps bretagne, gallicia). the original population already claimed the available fish and game resources (that provide food for a substantially lower population limit, wich was basically the reason why they lost out). after the first adaptions to agriculture a similar mechanism of replacement still occurred in the more suitable areas in netherlands. but slower. so not the agriculturalists took to hunting, in the case of admixture but rather the huntergatherers took to agriculture, in most cases (like in estonia, germany?) as a minority element of the total population. it is assumed this was a general trend unless the situation (like in denmark) escalated violently.
i don't know if i am informative in what i am going to tell next, but cow herding (and the assumed lactose tolerance to go with it, as the basic means of subsistence in netherlands (most typically and notably the frysian culture) date from a later date (my rough estimate late celtic period) and indeed form an adaption to the repeated flooding, however this area was flooded by the sea, i know of no such relation with rivers, that is not it wouldnt have happened, but there was not a culture like that based on the rivers and the area they flooded.

onix said...

ah i see there is a comment on mine. i bow humbly, what you say about the different features may be a lot more accurate and precise then what i know, i just wrote down the compilation of what i do know about it.

while writing indeed i remember oxen were mentioned, however the research of the dispersal of agriculture i know of focussed on sheep bones (i think they had just few cows). ramparts is my way of saying earthen walls and pallisades, perhaps that is incorrect. however i have read research about early agricultural settlement,(i wouldn't know by whom and when) and it definitly infered a such relation between the trend to fortify and the attitude of the original population, based on that fortifications were actually uncommon. i remember it specifically mentoned the area you mention, perhaps when we look at north america it is somewhat explained, in for example the french english struggle there, you see natives would travel quite a distance (eg 1500 miles) to fight the initial influx, one reason fortifications are rarer later may have been that the "wild" (there are etymological hints for that term) people tried to fight of the influx in a similar way. like i said: fortification was (by far) not common.

onix said...

with "later" i mean further on in the expansion. i must say i am not aware of the different phases you mention. sorry i what i write is confusing or overly crude. i'll also try to be more precise in my language next time i comment. i mostly studied the whole thing as an analogy for other militairy (interhuman violence) developments, such as gunpowder, bow and arrows , the wheel and horse and the machine gun.

onix said...

for the 'demic' effect i immediatly refer (that is my brain process immediatly explains to me as such) to the cromagnon population explosion. also there it has been shown that after the initial advance in food procuration as a result of a for the region innovative toolset (not yet agriculture) , the population grew, yet not much later on (i think some 12 generations /300 years) declined again. even more compelling is the skelettal evidence.
not much after what has been called (i think its largely in doubt these days as such) the neolithic revolution, the incredibly healthy and well grown statures of the initial cromagnon diminshes again. iotw. i wonder if this can also be shown for the agricultural expansion(s). like this one and other ones mentioned in the comments.