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collie

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Reply with quote  #1 
Nobody actually knows if the Phoenicians brought the ancestor of the Mastiff to Britain, but it is one of those stories that appears in so many books and articles about Mastiffs that it has sort of seeped into the folklore. To start with, there is really no direct evidence that any Phoenician ever set foot on Britain. They were an important maritime nation that existed between 1500 BC and 300 BC on the east coast of the Mediterranean. They traded widely throughout the Mediterranean and may well have reached the Atlantic Ocean. This would have put them into much rougher and more dangerous seas, so much harder for them to navigate. The appeal of trading with Britain would have been that it was one of the rare sources of tin, an important element in making the best type of bronze, and it is known that British tin was traded within France and spread through much of the ancient world. The idea that the Phoenicians got tin from the British comes from Strabo, the first important geographer of the ancient world. He lived around the turn of the first millennium AD in what was Greek-controlled Turkey, but it fell under the influence of Rome during his lifetime. He said that the Phoenicians got their tin from small islands called the Cassiterides, which don't actually exist, but some think mistakenly refer to Britain.
What about the Mastiff connection? Really the only one is that there were "mastiffs" on Assyrian carvings during the Phoenician age, and Assyrians lived to the east and traded with the Phoenicians and in some periods of history actually ruled them. I would put the spreading of this story down to our first Mastiff writer, M.B.Wynn, who seems to accept the Cassiterides were the Scilly Islands, off the coast of Cornwall which, if true, gives some credence to the dogs-for-tin idea, but really that's pretty far-fetched, with no actual evidence at all. Bring dogs by sea up the Atlantic coast of Europe for trade? I doubt it.


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Grant

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Reply with quote  #2 
The Mastiff as we know it, has only existed since the 1800's !
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So it just spontaniously appeared in the 1800,s ? the mastiff progenitor has been on this island for thousands years, until people started specifically breeding for certain attributes above all others no pedigree breed existed, just a varied group of local canines all inbred and put to different jobs . As we are an island our stock would be less diverse and influenced by constant out crosses to mainland types.
We obviously traded with near continent when boat travel allowed it but i believe our nomadic ancestors in post ice age colinisation of this island arrived with dogs and with the isolation created about this time with the rising seas and creation of the north sea and english channel there is the start of british breeds.
all parts of the world have produced ovet time their own mollosers all similar yet unique to their region i dont hold with the notion of one progenitor type of molloser fathering all types of mollosers and spreading around the world.
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