By Jorgen Jensen
This synthesis of archaeological study in Denmark divides into 4 sections: the hunters and gatherers; the 1st farmers; in the direction of a brand new period; and the chiefdoms of the Iron Age.
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Perhaps they did so in the coastal zones during the winter. 38 The Prehistory of Denmark Exactly how the hunting people in the Allerød period adapted their food strategy to the reindeer herds and at the same time exploited alternative food sources is still unclear. Coastal capture of sea mammals such as seals (through holes in the ice) may be one possibility. Stranded whales may also have turned up now and then, but there is simply no evidence for this as the coastal zone from that era is now submerged.
The plentiful red deer and roe deer were also hunted. In fact, living conditions for these animals improved in the course of the period. The same holds true of the wild 40 The Prehistory of Denmark pig, which during the period played an ever-larger role as a source of protein. The preferred fur-bearing animals were the beaver, the marten, the fox and the badger. Inland fishing was dominated by the catching of pike, for which fishing spears and lines were used. There is but poor evidence of the gathering of plant foods; the gathering of hazel nuts and a few other fruits and seeds is the only indication of this vital aspect of the subsistence pattern.
2 The hunting population Fertility and mortality The palaeodemographic material which we possess from the prehistoric hunter-gatherer communities is still very scanty. From Denmark and south Sweden together, about thirty individuals in all may with certainty be ascribed to the period. Denmark, however, has yielded one particular find which can give some idea of the mortality of the hunter population up to the introduction of agriculture. , 1976). Here a little cemetery from the end of the sixth millenium BC was found to contain twenty-two individuals.