Follow the Flock: How Sheep Shaped Human Civilization

Follow the Flock: How Sheep Shaped Human Civilization

by Sally Coulthard
Follow the Flock: How Sheep Shaped Human Civilization

Follow the Flock: How Sheep Shaped Human Civilization

by Sally Coulthard


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An addictively free-ranging survey of the massive impact that the humble and loveable sheep have had on human history.

From the plains of ancient Mesopotamia to the rolling hills of medieval England to the vast sheep farms of modern-day Australia, the domesticated ungulates of the genus Ovis—sheep—have been central to the human story.

Starting with our Neolithic ancestors' first forays into sheep-rearing nearly 10,000 years ago, these remarkable animals have fed us, clothed us, changed our diet and languages, helped us to win wars, decorated our homes, and financed the conquest of large swathes of the earth. Enormous fortunes and new, society-changing industries have been made from the fleeces of sheep, and cities shaped by shepherds' markets and meat trading.

Sally Coulthard weaves the rich and fascinating story of sheep into a vivid and colorful tapestry, thickly threaded with engaging anecdotes and remarkable ovine facts, whose multiple strands reflect the deep penetration of these woolly animals into every aspect of human society and culture.

NB: This title was published in the United Kingdom under the title A Short History of the World According to Sheep

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643136585
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 03/02/2021
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Sally Coulthard is a best-selling author of design and outdoor living books including The Hedgehog Handbook, The Bee Bible, The Little Book of Snow, How to Build a Shed, Shed Chic, Gardenalia, The Little Book of Building Fires. She lives on a Yorkshire farm where she keeps chickens as well as—naturally—sheep.

Table of Contents

1 How to Get a Sheep to Stand Still 1

A man buried with a fox, a breastfed lamb and the secrets of ancient wee

2 Wool's Scaly Secret 17

A 2,400-year-old woman frozen in time, fireproof underpants and corsets for Roman soldiers

3 Why Some Sheep are so Rooed 33

A mummy's tattoos, the invention of scissors and a ram on the run

4 Tough as Old Boots 47

Lactose intolerance, Cyclops the cheesemaker and a sheep with two heads

5 Rhymes and Ridiculous Cures 65

Bumfits, black sheep and the wrong star sign

6 Mr and Mrs Bo-Peep 85

Shepherd wanted, blasted sheep and the saving grace of crushed testicles

7 Dogs and Drovers 107

Come By, Corgis and the Bank of Black Sheep

8 Scouring and Spinning 127

Fairies, fleece grease and extra soft loo roll

Knit for Victory 147

The world's oldest socks, workhouses and how wool helped win the war

10 'Sheepe Hath Payed For It All' 175

Wool churches, white monks and the crime of owling

11 Sheep Devour People 195

Ghost ships, green cheese and 'Get off my land'

12 Spinning a Yarn 219

Fisherman's jumpers, men in tights and a famous execution

13 Mills and Boom 237

White slavery, wool-lined coffins and 'la maladie de Bradford'

14 Up, Up and Away 261

Bad science, sex and sheep in space

Notes 279

Index 295

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