Karin Bose: The first goat to become a pet

Karin Bose: The first goat to become a pet

11,600 years ago, climate change occurred. After traveling between heat and cold, drought and rain, the climate became more stable after the last ice age. Later some former Stone Age hunters east of the Mediterranean began to live somewhat on agriculture. No event in human history has had major consequences.

In recent years, DNA research has uncovered many details about what happened in the cradle of agriculture.

This week, the new results focus on the east of the Zagros Mountains in Iran.

The result is based on 32 sheep From two excavation sites, Kanj Thare and Deb Abdul Hossain. They were published in this week’s issue Journal of the American Academy of Sciences PNAS, Co-authored with Irish geneticist Daniel Bradley and American archaeologist Melinda Cedar.

Both settlements were used about 600 years, 10,200 years ago and the first 9,600 years ago.

Researchers can show that there were two types of goats in small villages during these years: a small number of original wild pheasants that must have been hunted in the mountains as before during the hunting season. But a large number of animals have to keep domestic sheep as pets for meat.

Seal of a goat hoof on a brick from the Kanch Tare excavation site in the Zagros Mountains in Iran.

Photo: Central Zagros Project

Called breeding – The evolutionary process by which wild animals are internally transformed by human reproduction – Commonly found in the origin of animals. Wild goats have large bodies and large, saber-shaped horns.

But researchers have not been able to find traces of shrinking body or horn size of domestic goats. Not after 1,000 years. Goats with soft appearance appeared in Ali Ghosh in the Iranian lowlands, a good distance outside the wild frontier of wild goats.

It is based on many sources that the people of Kanj Dare and Debe Abdul Hossain kept the sheep under control.

Performs DNA analysis Shows that they are groups of two different sheep. One group – the Wilderness – is genetically very diverse and is related to the present-day Besorkets in the region.

The other group – the domestic one – were very closely related to each other and all the rupees came from the same ancestral line. They show a relationship with stone age sheep far from Serbia and domestic sheep from others.

Bone analyzes indicate that wild sheep were hunted for meat, and that hunters preferred males over four years, and that they produced more meat. Household herds, on the other hand, seem to have consisted mostly of women. Goats were usually slaughtered before the age of 2.5, with the exception of a few that were kept for breeding. In this way, the villagers were able to increase the meat production of the herds.

Many of the bones that come from the small goat’s embryo indicate that domestic eves are often miscarried. The researchers explained that animal husbandry and animal accumulation led to infectious diseases such as brucellosis.

It has been known for a long time, Based on archaeological finds, agriculture first appeared in the crescent-shaped region known as the “fertile crescent”. It stretches from the Jordan Valley in present-day Jordan, Israel and Palestine, along the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in northern Syria and eastern Turkey, to the Zakros Mountains in present-day Iran.

New DNA research shows that the newly arrived farmers in eastern Turkey and the Iranian hunter-gatherers in each area of ​​the Zakros Mountains were descendants and genetically distinct groups.

But is it true that different people invented agriculture individually and independently of each other? Rarely. It is about 650 km between the two farm cradles and it is not impossible for the nomads of that time to fall.

Of course they changed knowledge and bred animals and seeds. Sheep, pigs, cows, goats, barley, various types of wheat and pulses …

The current study of PNAS indicates that the journey of domestic sheep began in the Zagros Mountains.

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About the Author: Cary Douglas

Cary Douglas is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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