Monday, November 8, 2010

Roman with the Fallow Deer

Fallow Deer, Dama dama
The Fallow Deer (Dama dama) is the most common deer in Ireland. It is not a native species, having been introduced by the Normans to the Royal Deer Forest in Glencree, Co. Wicklow in 1244 (1). The deer is originally from the Eastern Mediterranean, and has been transported by humans throughout Europe, Africa, America and Australasia (2). One of the earliest translocations has been traced to the Neolithic period when animals were introduced to Rhodes (3). Movement of the animals throughout Europe has been attributed to the Normans (4), but Sykes et al. (5) suggest that the Romans were also a force in distributing D. dama across Europe. Analysis of remains found in 2003 at a Roman settlement at Monkton on the Isle of Thanet, Kent in England showed that it was highly likely that herds of D. dama existed here during Roman times.

Fallow Deer, Dama dama
  1. Nolan and Walsh, 2005 Wild Deer Management in Ireland: Stalker Training Manual
  2. Chapman and Chapman, 1975 Fallow Deer: Their History, Distribution and Biology
  3. Masseti et al., 2006  Human Evolution 21 pp. 167–176
  4. Sykes, 2007 British Archaeological Report, International Series 1656
  5. Skyes et al., 2011 Journal of Archaeological Science 38 pp. 156-165

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