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Polish frontier

20 November 2013

At www.naukawpolsce.pap.pl/en/news/news,397981,dabki-where-hunters-met-farm… … a Polish settlement site in Pomerania, on an island in a lake, and dating between 5100 and 3600BC, displays no evidence of farming and yet there is plenty  of evidence they were trading with farming communities of the North European Plain and even as far away as Hungary.

Mesolithic people and farmers also lived in proximity to each other elsewhere in Europe. World Current Archaeology 62 (www.world-archaeology.com) (December 2013) also has a News item from Germany on research at Blatterhohle Cave near Hagen as reported in the journal Science of them co-existing in the same region for up to 2000 years, even burying their dead not far from each other. The Mesolithic people's main food source were freshwater fish from rivers whilst the farmers mostly lived on grains and meat. There is some evidence that the Mesolithic people preyed on the pigs of farmers, presumably those let loose in woods in autumn to eat pannage (acorns and beech maste). Mesolithic people hunted wild boar but were probably not too choosey if a domestic pig appeared within spear throwing distance. It is also suspected the same Mesolithic people adopted farming by first becoming rearers of domestic pigs – possibly as a result of declining game numbers. This is where it becomes difficult to differentiate between hunting groups and farmers – as in Britain, for example, animal husbandry remained important throughout what is known as the Neolithic, all the way down to the Bronze Age, which is when most farms and field systems came into existence, and presumably the roads and lanes that connected them up to each other.

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