In the fringes, at the twilight: Encountering deer in the British Mesolithic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The relationship between people and deer has been a persistent theme within British Mesolithic Studies since the early twentieth century, and has been approached from a range of economic, ontological, cultural and chronological perspectives. Yet our understanding of the ways in which deer and people interacted has been undermined by a failure to recognise the plasticity of deer behaviour in different environments, and the variability of social contexts in which theymight be encountered. This paper will seek to address this by considering the current body of knowledge concerning the ecology and behaviour of Cervus elaphus (Red deer), Capreolus capreolus (Roe deer) and Alces alces (Elk), and model the actions of these species within a range of different British Mesolithic environments. In doing so, it will create a platform for new discussions of the relationship between people and deer, in a way that affords the actions of theanimals themselves an unprecedented level of agency.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWild Things 2
Subtitle of host publicationWild Things 2
PublisherOxbow Books
ISBN (Print)9781785709463
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


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