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From Empire States to Country Estates – The Story of the Fallow Deer’s Global Conquest 6k BP to Present

Author(s): Naomi Sykes ; Holly Miller ; Karis Baker

Year: 2017

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It took millennia, but the European fallow deer (Dama dama) a beautiful cervid species native to the eastern Mediterranean has gradually been transported around the world - its modern distribution ranging from New Zealand to the Caribbean. The translocation of fallow deer was accompanied by a remarkably consistent culture of hunting and emparkment that altered landscape and environment. Using a combination of (zoo)archaeology, isotope analysis and genetic research to reconstruct the timing and circumstances of the fallow deer’s diffusion, it has become clear that the various imperial cultures of Europe (e.g. the Bronze Age Aegean, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Anglo-Norman and British Empires) were significant drivers. However, the belief that introduced animals are invariably the result of ‘invading peoples’ is not always correct and our research requires much of the received wisdom concerning the history of the fallow deer and the culture-contact associated with the species’ spread to be dismissed.

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From Empire States to Country Estates – The Story of the Fallow Deer’s Global Conquest 6k BP to Present. Naomi Sykes, Holly Miller, Karis Baker. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429798)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14753

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America