On my last post I showed that the University of Oxford has found an isotope to identify 'flooded' terraces that were used by the Neolithic settlers rather than creating farmland by 'clearing forests' as archaeologists current suggest.
This week we look at some more evidence from the University of Manchester in their paper 'Mesolithic Mammal fauna of Great Britain' 2000.
The big question we previously asked was 'why would you cut down forests if there was sufficient flat grazing land to plant seeds and turn into farms'. To see the flaws in the current Mesolithic-Neolithic transition theory (which suggest a rising population caused the use of agriculture), we need to find out the population of Britain at the end of the Mesolithic - Fortunately, the University of Manchester estimates this at just 2,500 people - that is equalling to each person in the Mesolithic able to have 88 sq km each or roughly the Isle of Jersey each.
So you not exactly running out of land to hunt or gather, especially when you are reminded that 90,000 people live there now! In fact the population would need to be around the 423,710 figure to give them just 1 acre each - this figure was not estimated until the iron age some 3,000 years later.
So what is the truth?
Let's look at how much flat grassy plains were available from the drop of water levels in the Mesolithic period - University of Manchester estimates about 42,371 or about 19% of the total landmass. That gives every person 17 sq km of flat grassland! So why on earth would you chop down a forest to make a farm when there is so much land available you can just find a spot and grow some seeds?
And so, that is exactly what they did, when the water levels fell in the Neolithic - the rest of the forest was felled later in the Bronze and Iron age when the weather conditions allowed then to do so easily with metal tools. The problem for anthropologists is to explain this 'culture change' as farming was available but ignored, until the water levels made it impossible for 1,500 boats to survive on the twiddling British waterways.
Moreover, another set of statistic show how pathetic this 'hunter-gather' myth really is when looking at the numbers of dangerous animals living in the forest. There is a whole collection of animals waiting for Mesolithic settlers to wander into the wilderness to become - their prey:
Lynx - outnumber man by 3 to 1
Wolfs - outnumber man by 3 to 1
Brown Bears - outnumber man by 6 to 1
Wild Cats - outnumber man by 30 to 1
Wild Boar - outnumber man by 400 to 1
Clearly this evidence shows us that over population at the end of the Mesolithic did not create the 'farming' revolution as current theories suggest, for there was more than sufficient land available for such a small population. This was moreover, a fundamental change in 'culture' and attitude that had gone unchanged for the prior 5,000 years of the Mesolithic period. This change from 'peaceful' existence within nature was replaced by metal, war and possessions, a totally different ideology - which will be fully examined in my next book and subsequent blogs.