Friday, November 21, 2014

The Wolf is here ..............

photo from wikipedia.

I'm always looking for the wolf when we're out in the woods of Mid Jutland. It would be such a speciel experience to see it out in the Danish nature -  and if I could get a photo that would really be great.

But if we go out looking for the wolf it has probably heard us long before we might come close.. The wolf's hearing is so eminent that it can hear a branch break for miles in still air. The wolf can also hear  high frequency sounds which makes it able to hunt squeaking mice in the dark of night. .

The wolf's paw and a human hand, photo wikipedia
The wolves in Denmark come from the German stock - and the socalled "Danish" wolves in Jutland don't know about  borders. They are nomades and can be everywhere in Jutland and Germany. They are extremely perservering and mobile and they can easily back down 200 kilometers during one day and night and thereby in a short time alternate between Germany and Denmark.

Harrild hede, photo:gb

The wolf's favorite food is the huntable animals in the Danish nature. The hunters and the wolves are  competitors about the meat and it is seen from some places on the internet that there is a fierce hatred against the wolf  from hunter-circles in Denmark. There are rumours that wolves have been shot in Denmark, which can lead to two years in prison.

It is obviously difficult to remove the hatred against the large predators and the birds of prey. The goshawk is highly pursued  in some Danish districts because it hunts pheasants. The wolf,  the goshawk and the golden eagle are competitors of the hunters and they are in the risk of being pursued.

I don't think the hunters need to be so jealous. A calculation has been made according the yearly hunting-statistics: The Danish hunters dismantle each year deer, red deer and sika (sika is imported ) which is  representing about 1.700 tons meat. For comparison : a stock of 40 wolves eat about 30 tons meat a year , assuming that the wolf  feed on deer.

forest, Mid Jutland, photo:gb

In Germany they know that deer, red deer and wild boar is the main food of the wolf, hares rabbits and small rodents are a lesser part of the food -  and under 1 % of the wolf's prey is domestic animals.

According to the scientists there would be enough food to feed a Danish stock of ab. 40 wolves. The wolves don't take the healthiest deer in a deer stock, they take the easiest prey, the weak and sick individuals. For the same reason the predators could take part in trimming the stock of red deer. The wolf could also be a scavenger in the Danish nature. Approximately ab. 25.000 deer are killed each year on the Danish Highways. The wolf could take part in cleaning up after the drivers.

The howling of the wolf has been heard in the night in Jutland and an audio recording indicates that there were some puppies among the adults. DNA- analyzes show that there were 11 various male wolves in Denmark in 2014.

We will hardly get a large wolf pack in Denmark like in North America. Denmark will be the terrain of small family-flocks.and a  land of the lonely wolves.

Source: Ulven er kommet - by Jan Skriver,  Danish magazine Natur og Miljø, nr. 4, November 2014.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Borgring - the Fifth Viking Ring Fortress in Denmark

from wikipedia
Viking ring fortress on Zealand. 
Latest News from 18 november 2014
2 analyzes from the new ring fortress of wooden pieces from the northern gate were dated by  radiocarbon dating - and they show that the ring fortress Borgring was built in the 900s. This means that the new-found Viking ring castle is Denmarks 5th Viking ring fortress. 

In the American magazine Archaeology the Viking fortress Borgring is on a top ten list of the greatest discoveries of 2014. 

The dating result will be presented Tuesday 18 November 2014 on an internationel seminar at Aarhus University together with archaeological  results fromr the excavations this summer.

 Borgring as now regarded as Denmarks 3. largest Viking fortress..

from wikipedia

Various info 2014: For the first time in 60 years a new ring fortress has been found in Denmark. The officiel name is now Borgring. The Viking fortification is located on Zealand east of Gl. Lellingegård in the parish of Højelse and north-east of Lellinge.  The ring sits on land under the Chapter of Vallø (the land and Gl. Lellingegaard has been a part of the estate of Vallø  since 1721).

It was because of  skilled archaeological work  when scientists from Aarhus University and Danmarks Borgcenter could tell that they had found a new ring-castle in Denmark 

from Google Earth
from wikipedia

It was 60 year since a ring-castle was found in Denmark and the new find is the result of an intensive hunt after exactly a ring-fortress like this. One of the archaeologists behind the new find is professor Søren Sindbæk who says that this is almost like a good crime story. He has never experienced an excavation like this before. " We have found a unique mionument, but we've also found it because we were following a presumption," he says.

Borgring is circular in shape and spans 145 metres across and thus ranks third among the original, Danish Viking ring fortresses. It featured a 10–11-meter wide rampart and was shielded by a palisade. made by pointed wooden stakes. No fortification moat has been uncovered, but the Ellebækken stream running due west of the fortification might have offered a natural defence as might a small lake to the north/north-east. During the excavation in 2014 the northern and eastern gates were found exactly where they would be expected to be in a trelleborg-type fortification.

Trelleborg at Slagelse , from wikipedia

Borgring now joins the group of  trelleborgs which include Trelleborg at Slagelse, Nonnebakken at Odense, Fyrkat at Hobro and Aggersborg next to the Limfjord.


During the Viking age the Borgring fortress would have enjoyed a strategic, geographical advantage overlooking the intersection of the old high roads from Roskilde and Ringsted extending as far as the two streams in Køge ådal, which at this time was a ship-ready fjord and one of the best natural ports on Zealand, offering easy access to the Bay of Køge.

Harald Bluetooth is presumed to be the master builder of the other Danish trelleborg-type fortresses, and it seems plausible that he may indeed have built the ring fortress at Lellinge, too.  

Excavations will continue in 2015.