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Early Agriculture in Denmark1


There is perhaps no branch of archaeology of more fundamentalimportance than the study of the rise and development of agricul ture, seeing that it has been the governing factor in the Natural History of Man from the time of its introduction down to the Industrial Era. But the study of the evidence from Britain is not enough; hence Professor Hatt’s full and clear exposition of the Danish evidence is of special importance to British archaeologists, seeing that the rich discoveries preserved in the peat-bogs of Denmark can supply details that are missing in the British picture, or at least suggest to us directions in which future research may profitably be pursued. Professor Hatt’s wide knowledge and balanced judgment-not to mention his delightful personality-have won the confidence and respect of those British archaeologists who have had the privilege of knowing him, and his recent book on Danish agriculture is far too important to be left in the relative obscurity of the Danish language. Hence a brief summary of its principal contents is attempted here.

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2 Johnson C.P., in The Useful Plants of Great Britain, pp. 218222, gives a full account of the uses and recent cultivation of the different varieties of olygonum.

3 ibid. pp. 216–7.

4 ibid. pp. 27–8.

5 ibid. p. 53.

6 ibid. pp. 22–4.

7 ibid. pp. 54–7.

8 See the article on The Origin of Cultivated Plants’ by Watkins A.E. in ANTIQUITY, 1933, 7, 7380.

9 This custom is referred to in Leviticus, XIX, 19.

10 See the article on Dogs’ by Max Hilzheimer in ANTIQUITY, 1932, 6, 411–9. See also Proc. Prehist. Soc, 1938, 469–70.

11 See the article on Sheep’ by Max Hilzheimer in ANTIQUITY, 1936, 10, 195206.

12 See ANTIQUITY, 1938, 12, 81 and photo.

13 In Britain the long-horned group is as characteristic of the Neolithic, as the short-horned group is of the Early Iron Age.

14 A British specimen of the same type from Kingley Vale, Sussex, is illustrated in the present writer’s Archaeology of Sussex (1937), p. 200, fig. 56.

15 See the article on the Horse’ by Max Hilzheimer in ANTIQUITY, 1935, 9, 133–9.

16 The horse seems also to have been unknown to the British Neolithic A folk in southern England. It is noteworthy that it did not reach Egypt till the Hyksos period (1780–1580 B.c.).

17 See the article on The Origin and Early Diffusion of the Traction-plough’ by Bishop C.W. in ANTIQUITY, 1936, 10, 261–81.

18 Acta Archaeologica, 7, 244280.

19 Perhaps these two types correspond to Hesiod’s inline-graphicροτρον αύ τόγυον and ροτρον πηκ τόν (Works and Days, 433).

20 An amusing sidelight on the alleged antiquity of this plough is contained in the title of the original publication :Die älteste Pflug der Welt : in Deutschland’ (Natur und Volk, 1934, 64, 8391.

21 Aarbeger for nordisk Oldkyndighed, 1936, 130144; French summary, xviii–xix.

22 Antiq. Journ., 1933, 13, 455436.

23 Seebohm F., The English Village Community (1915), 60–6.

24 Acta Archaeologica, 1932, 3, 209–30.

25 Original description by Chr. Blinkenberg in Aarbager for nord. Oldk., 1898, 141–56.

26 See ANTIQUITY, 1930, 4, 184–6; 1935, IX, 64–5.

27 Discussed in a review in ANTIQUITY, 1934, 8, 237–9.

28 ANTIQUITY, 1932, 6, 393–8.

29 ‘Hede’, that enters into so many of these place-names, corresponds to our ‘Heath’.

30 ANTIQUITY, 1937, 11, 162–73.

31 See forthcoming article in ANTIQUITY.

32 ANTIQUITY, 1937, 11, 147.

33 Proc. Prehist. Soc., 19938.

1 A Summary of Gudmund Hatt, Landbrug i Danmarks Oldtid (Copenhagen, 1937); and Axel Steensberg, ‘North-West European Plough-types of Prehistoric Times and the Middle Ages’, Acta Archaeologica (Copenhagen, 1936), VII, 244–280.

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