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Reindeer: It's What Was For Dinner
Discovery Channel ^ | 12-20-2007 | Jennifer Viegas

Posted on 12/22/2007 10:07:24 AM PST by blam

Reindeer: It's What Was For Dinner

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Once a Staple

Dec. 20, 2007 -- Reindeer meat went from being an occasional treat to everyday fare among prehistoric cavemen who lived in Southwest France and what is now the Czech Republic, two new studies suggest.

In fact, so many nibbled-on reindeer bones were present in their caves that possible calendars circa 26,000 years ago might have been carved on the leftover bones. They may have also been used as counting devices or for ornamentation.

The first study, authored by J. Tyler Faith, analyzed bones found in limestone cave and rock shelters at a site called Grotte XVI at Dordogne near Bordeaux. The numbers and types of bones revealed plenty -- how, for instance, the hunters butchered the meat, how far they traveled to hunt, and details about populations of the animals themselves.

"If an archaeological assemblage of large mammals is dominated by only the most nutritional skeletal parts (thigh bones, for example), it suggests that the other skeletal elements of lower nutritional value (foot bones, skulls, little bones) were probably discarded at the kill site," Faith told Discovery News.

"Conversely, if we see equal frequencies of all types of skeletal elements it suggests that carcasses were transported intact and that minimal butchery was taking place at the kill site," said Faith, a George Washington University anthropologist.

He determined that 64,600 years ago, the cave dwellers -- including Neanderthals -- only brought back the choicest reindeer cuts. The meat seemed to multiply over the years so that by 12,285 years ago, virtually all parts of the reindeer were being eaten, with the animals constituting 90 percent of large mammal game.

This suggests the reindeer population in the region steadily increased over the years, so the cavemen didn't have to travel far out of their homes to get a nutritious reindeer dinner.

"If you don't have to carry the carcass very far, why both investing lots of time butchering it at the kill site and carrying only certain parts of it back home?" Faith said.

By the looks of things in the cave, during the Magdalenian era the dwellers filled themselves on everything from reindeer ribs to roast of reindeer as a result. The findings have been accepted for publication in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Donald Grayson, a University of Washington anthropologist who has also extensively studied the French site, told Discovery News that the new study is "important, insightful and innovative."

The pollen record for the region, which reflects past vegetation, shows ever-decreasing summer temperatures favored more and more reindeer, which thrive under cooler conditions. According to Faith, when temperatures rose sharply after around 12,000 years ago, "reindeer became locally extinct and their southern boundary in Europe retreated northwards."

Before this happened, prehistoric hunters in what is now the Czech Republic were also up to their ears in leftover reindeer bones.

A separate study published in this month's Antiquity describes two decorative art pieces from Predmosti that were carved on bone that likely was reindeer. Rebecca Farbstein, who co-authored the paper with Jiri Svoboda, admitted to Discovery News that "the small size and fragmentary nature of these pieces make interpretation about their meaning speculative."

Farbstein, a researcher in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge, and her colleague determined that the bones were covered with a distinctive grid pattern on one side.

Based on a review of other objects from the same time period, the carved bones could indicate that prehistoric Europeans may have marked their time on bone calendars made out of the then-common


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: caveman; dinner; godsgravesglyphs; prehistoric; reindeer

1 posted on 12/22/2007 10:07:24 AM PST by blam
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To: blam

A moose bit my sister once.

She thought he was a reindeer. So she ate him.


2 posted on 12/22/2007 10:09:33 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (Paul/Kucinich (MCKINNEY!!!) for 2008! [Yes, of course I'm insane - Why do you ask?])
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To: SunkenCiv; muawiyah
GGG Ping.

A Written Record?

3 posted on 12/22/2007 10:10:00 AM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

Or another “natural formation?” :)


4 posted on 12/22/2007 10:13:27 AM PST by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( "Do well, but remember to do good.")
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To: blam

Could have been used as a grater or to smooth something. Grate husks off grains?


5 posted on 12/22/2007 10:13:40 AM PST by squarebarb
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To: blam

They still eat it in Iceland.


6 posted on 12/22/2007 10:13:48 AM PST by enough_idiocy (www.daypo.net/test-iraq-war.html)
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To: squarebarb

Early patent application for Rice Chex.


7 posted on 12/22/2007 10:14:28 AM PST by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( "Do well, but remember to do good.")
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To: blam
"Conversely, if we see equal frequencies of all types of skeletal elements it suggests that carcasses were transported intact and that minimal butchery was taking place at the kill site," said Faith, a George Washington University anthropologist.

He determined that 64,600 years ago, the cave dwellers -- including Neanderthals -- only brought back the choicest reindeer cuts. The meat seemed to multiply over the years so that by 12,285 years ago, virtually all parts of the reindeer were being eaten, with the animals constituting 90 percent of large mammal game.

This suggests the reindeer population in the region steadily increased over the years, so the cavemen didn't have to travel far out of their homes to get a nutritious reindeer dinner.

I am having difficulty reconciling this.

If the meat was plentiful they would only take the choicest meat because it was so plentiful. It would seem that they would only take the whole carcass if the food was in short supply - or the human population took off and they needed all parts of the deer to support the tribe.

8 posted on 12/22/2007 10:15:11 AM PST by raybbr (You think it's bad now - wait till the anchor babies start to vote!)
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To: blam

Reindeer sausage is available locally. Reindeer herds are allocated racially.


9 posted on 12/22/2007 10:16:59 AM PST by RightWhale (Dean Koonz is good, but my favorite authors are Dun and Bradstreet)
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To: enough_idiocy

“They still eat it in Iceland.”

...and in NJ after a stint in Canada for a week or two...same goes for moose which, IMHO, is even better eating than “boo”.


10 posted on 12/22/2007 10:17:08 AM PST by Constitutional Patriot (Socialism is the cancer of humanity.)
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To: enough_idiocy

I learned recently there was a great experiment in Alaska to grow Reindeer as a cash crop. The problem was, the females ran off wifh the amorous and perhaps genetically superior wild caribou males.


11 posted on 12/22/2007 10:17:15 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . Moveon is not us...... Moveon is the enemy)
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To: blam

OK, then, I’m staying up late Christmas Eve with a 30 .06. I’ll just wait until Santa’s gone down the chimney. That one with the red nose ought to be pretty easy to pop.


12 posted on 12/22/2007 10:18:33 AM PST by Emmett McCarthy
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To: blam
Digital Version

13 posted on 12/22/2007 10:18:46 AM PST by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: blam

Yummy


14 posted on 12/22/2007 10:19:44 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Emmett McCarthy

15 posted on 12/22/2007 10:23:15 AM PST by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: Emmett McCarthy

“That one with the red nose ought to be pretty easy to pop.”

Better watch out for that one, all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names and where are they in history? LoL


16 posted on 12/22/2007 10:24:52 AM PST by 444Flyer (NEVER take a "mark" to "buy or sell"!Rev 13:16-18,John 3:1-36, Eph 6, Rev 12:11, Jer 29:13-14)
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To: enough_idiocy
"They still eat it in Iceland."

So do the Sami.

The Sámi of Far Northern Europe


17 posted on 12/22/2007 10:29:15 AM PST by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam
The pollen record for the region, which reflects past vegetation, shows ever-decreasing summer temperatures favored more and more reindeer, which thrive under cooler conditions. According to Faith, when temperatures rose sharply after around 12,000 years ago, "reindeer became locally extinct and their southern boundary in Europe retreated northwards."

Must have been about the time Fred Flintstone and his Neanderthal peers started driving those cars of theirs and caused the global warming of that era.

18 posted on 12/22/2007 10:38:49 AM PST by AlaskaErik (I served and protected my country for 31 years. Democrats spent that time trying to destroy it.)
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To: blam

Reindeer is still a tasty meat. Very lean, but add a little suet, and it makes excellent sausage. Yum.


19 posted on 12/22/2007 10:59:43 AM PST by redhead (VICTORY FIRST, THEN PEACE)
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To: Westlander; proud_yank

Bump and Ping


20 posted on 12/22/2007 11:03:04 AM PST by redhead (VICTORY FIRST, THEN PEACE)
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To: blam

One reason why Santa never brought them presents...but not the only one.


21 posted on 12/22/2007 11:09:53 AM PST by Verginius Rufus
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To: enough_idiocy

We were fed reindeer cold cuts for lunch on a Finnair flight from NY to Helsinki. I didn’t care for it.


22 posted on 12/22/2007 11:41:43 AM PST by EggsAckley
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To: EggsAckley

Did they forewarn you what it was? On an Iceland air flight they gave us meatballs. I later learned Rudolph was the meat in the ball.


23 posted on 12/22/2007 11:51:07 AM PST by enough_idiocy (www.daypo.net/test-iraq-war.html)
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To: blam
According to Faith, when temperatures rose sharply after around 12,000 years ago, "reindeer became locally extinct and their southern boundary in Europe retreated northwards."

Paging Algore Manbearpig!
Must have been tooooo much exhausting CO2 coming out of raindears!

24 posted on 12/22/2007 1:46:33 PM PST by Leo Carpathian (ffffFReeeePeee!)
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To: enough_idiocy
We just ate some reindeer in Bloomington, Indiana. The folks who've been raising them for family consumption (in secret) are coming out in the open and marketing their product.

Stuff tastes good ~ like it was made for the human system.

25 posted on 12/22/2007 2:19:14 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...

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Thanks Blam.
In fact, so many nibbled-on reindeer bones were present in their caves that possible calendars circa 26,000 years ago might have been carved on the leftover bones. They may have also been used as counting devices or for ornamentation.
In fact, so many sated cavemen wanted bragging rights to who'd eaten the most that they invented the first system for counting by carving marks on the bones of their previous meals. ;')

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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26 posted on 12/22/2007 7:10:18 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Tuesday, December 18, 2007___________________https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: raybbr; blam

those were exactly my thoughts.

The more scarce the food, the more likely you would be to eat everything. The less scarce, the more likely you can be picky.


27 posted on 12/22/2007 7:15:03 PM PST by nicmarlo
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To: SunkenCiv

Interesting; thanks for the ping.


28 posted on 12/22/2007 7:15:21 PM PST by nicmarlo
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To: Westlander

Not funny!

Poor Santa!!


29 posted on 12/22/2007 7:16:09 PM PST by nicmarlo
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To: CrappieLuck; Diana in Wisconsin; george76; SJackson; proud_yank; jazusamo

Ping.


30 posted on 12/22/2007 7:22:23 PM PST by girlangler (Fish Fear Me)
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To: nicmarlo

:’) You’re most welcome.


31 posted on 12/22/2007 7:31:37 PM PST by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Tuesday, December 18, 2007___________________https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: blam

I’m looking forward to a nice steak this Christmas Eve.

Come Dasher, come Prancer, come Donner and Blitzen...


32 posted on 12/22/2007 7:36:53 PM PST by Pelham (No Deportation, the new goal of the Amnesty Republicans)
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To: enough_idiocy
They still eat it in Iceland.

Finland, too. We once hosted a Finnish woman who was travelling with a group of Rotarians from there, all over Western Washington state. She had prepared some standard lines in answer to questions, like "What do you eat that is different there?" She started getting shocked looks when she said "Reindeer", to which she answered, "But ours don't fly!!"

33 posted on 12/22/2007 7:41:09 PM PST by hunter112 (Hillary Clinton - America’s Ex-Wife®)
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To: blam

There was a show on PBS or something about some folks living in the far northern part of Russia near the Bering strait.

They are TOTALLY dependent on reindeer. The only thing that grows there is like this type of lichen or moss on the rocks. The only thing that will eat the crap is the reindeer.

So they have reindeer herds. And they use EVERYTHING from the animal when they slaughter it, probably even use reindeer spit for baby oil or somesuch.


34 posted on 12/22/2007 8:06:45 PM PST by djf (I'm too busy to be jolly. Tis the time to cook a collie!)
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To: blam

A go board ?


35 posted on 12/22/2007 8:09:01 PM PST by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)
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To: blam
Reindeer: It's What Was For Dinner

BBQ that sucka until it tastes good!

36 posted on 12/22/2007 9:15:56 PM PST by Libloather (Hillary donors find their way to the cover of Time. And the very next day they're doing it...)
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