|Fig 1. The location of Almhov in Scania.|
The first farmers in Denmark and Sweden knew how to rear cattle – suggesting they knew much more about farming than previously thought, shows new research.
Farming started in Denmark and southern Sweden about 6,000 years ago, and now researchers have discovered that these early farmers were far more advanced than they have previously been given credit for.
According to a new study, settlers from more developed regions of Central Europe moved to Denmark and Sweden, where they introduced advanced farming practices.
They brought knowledge and agricultural experience with them, which they shared with the local hunter-gatherers over the next 300 years, transforming them into a well-developed agrarian society.
In the new study, researchers from England studied cow teeth dated to 3,950 BC from southern Sweden.
The teeth show that the early farmers had mastered the cumbersome task of calving at different times of the year, so that milk was available all year round.
"It’s very interesting that the farmers of the period were able to manipulate the calving seasons, so all the calves did not come in the spring. This is very hard to do, and would not have taken place if the farmers had not intended to do it,” says Kurt Gron, a researcher from the Department of Archaeology at Durham University, UK, and lead-author on the study.
“This means that the earliest farmers were highly skilled from the beginning of the Neolithic period, which suggests immigrants were instrumental in bringing pastoral agriculture to the region," he says. [...] sciencenordic.com