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13.12.2020

The elk, Taderup

In the rock paintings of Northern Scandinavia, images of boats and moose are sometimes found. However, certain hunting scenes are very rare. A combination of a painted moose and a carved boat with a man carrying a spear can be found in Vastrand, in the Trøndelag area in Norway. This may be a rare example of an elk hunting scene.

An exhausted and wounded bull moose sank to the bottom of a lake at Toderup in Falster 8700 years ago. His skeleton was found in a peat bog in 1922. Between the bones lay a broken bone tip that may have been used in hunting. Later, a serrated harpoon was found in the same peat bog.

Several kinds of tools and weapons were made from the horns and bones of large animals. Hunting was so intense that the species became extinct in Zealand 8,500 years ago. However, the elk continued to play an important role in hunter mythology. Valuable items of exchange were beads made from elk teeth and tools made from elk horns. 

Harpoons associated with elk hunting in the Maglemosian period, among others, were most often made from the limb bones of elk and red deer. Hunting with harpoons was practiced in Scandinavia for a long period, and the shape of the harpoon point varied depending on what prey the hunters chose. In three cases from Denmark harpoons have been found next to animal skeletons.

Toothed harpoons have been known since the Maglemosian period. They are hunting implements with large serrations carved out of bone. Harpoons were intended mainly for hunting floating elk and red deer. Elk fed on aquatic plants in vast areas of water. Hunters operated near lakes as well. With the help of dogs, they could drive elk into the water and shoot down the swimming animals with harpoons. A harpoon could also be attached to a fishing line so that the hunter could hold the wounded animal close to his boat. Then the animal could be struck with a club, or its vital organs could be pierced with arrowheads or spears. There are several advantages to this kind of hunting. In addition to being vulnerable in the water, animals are also so engrossed in trying to keep their heads above water that they are unable to kick and kick. This type of hunting is very effective. In fact, it is so effective that it is now banned in most of Canada and the northern United States because it is considered unsportsmanlike! Finds of later harpoon heads from the Congemose and Ertebølle periods in Zealand indicate that hunting floating wildlife continued later. Some animals escaped their pursuers, including a wounded elk from Toderup. Finds of later harpoon heads from the Congemose and Ertebølle periods in Zealand indicate that hunting of floating wildlife continued later. Some animals escaped their pursuers, including a wounded elk from Toderup. Finds of later harpoon heads from the Congemose and Ertebølle periods in Zealand indicate that hunting of floating wildlife continued later. Some animals escaped their pursuers, including a wounded elk from Toderup.

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