Red deer, roe deer, elk, auroc, as well as the smaller mammals, cattle, and fish were available as food for humans.
It is thought that settlers made their way across Morecambe Bay and along the fertile coast.
From around 5000 BC, alder became widespread, due to the increased rainfall, with oak and elm decreasing.It is possible that seal and dolphin as well as fish were eaten in coastal sites.During the following Younger Dryas stadial (colder period), c.10890 - 9650 BC, Federmesser sites were abandoned, and Cumbria (along with the rest of Britain) was not permanently occupied until the end of the Younger Dryas period, 11,600 years ago (that is, during the Mesolithic era).Other lithic blades were found at Lindale Low Cave at the mouth of the River Kent, in caves at Blenkett Wood, Allithwaite, and at Bart's Shelter, Furness (including reindeer and elk bones).The landscape during the Federmesser site occupations had developed into " a woodland landscape of birch and willow and a mosaic of herbaceous shrub and open grassland species." Red deer, elk, reindeer and large wild bovids were hunted, with fewer wild horse and the disappearance of mammoth marking some change in diet.
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It is a county of contrasts, with its mountainous central region and lakes, fertile coastal plains in the north and gently undulating hills in the south.Cumbria now relies on farming as well as tourism as economic bases, but industry has historically also played a vital role in the area's fortunes.In bad winters, some of the central valleys are occasionally cut off from the outside world.Enclaves of Brythonic Celts remained until around the 10th century, long after much of England was essentially 'English'; and the Norse retained a distinct identity well into the Middle Ages.Evidence for human (homo heidelbergensis and Neanderthal) occupation of Britain goes back to c.700,000 years ago.
The presence in Britain of homo sapiens can be detected at around 27,000-26,000BC (at Paviland Cave, South Wales).
Finds are mostly from caves in the southwest and midland regions of England, and indicate humans feeding on wild horse, reindeer, Arctic hare and red deer, as well as on wild fruits, berries, etc., evidence for which has not survived. The first evidence found for human occupation in Cumbria is that at Kirkhead Cave, in Lower Allithwaite, during the Federmesser culture period (c.11400 - 10800 BC).
Discussing the Kirkhead Cave finds, Barrowclough quotes an earlier source who says: "Although limited, the Late Upper Paleolithic material from Cumbria is the earliest evidence of settlement in Britain this far north-west and as such is of national importance (Wymer 1981, 77)" (See: Lithic flake).
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