Profile image
By Alton Parrish (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

How Ancient Cows Sparked Emergence of Empires

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

The keeping of livestock began in the Ancient Near East and underpinned the emergence of complex economies and then cities. Subsequently, it is there that the world’s first empires rose and fell. Now, ancient DNA has revealed how the prehistory of the region’s largest domestic animal, the cow, chimes with these events.

An international team of geneticists, led by those from Trinity College Dublin, have deciphered early bovine prehistory by sequencing 67 ancient genomes from both wild and domestic cattle sampled from across eight millennia.

A zebu-shaped weight from Tel Beth-Shemesh.

Credit:  A. Hay, courtesy of the Tel Beth-Shemesh Excavations exhibition.

“This allowed us to look directly into the past and observe genomic changes occurring in time and space, without having to rely on modern cattle genetic variation to infer past population events,” said Postdpoctoral Researcher at Trinity,Marta Verdugo, who is first author of the article that has just been published in leading international journal, Science.

The earliest cattle are Bos taurus, with no ancestry from Bos indicus, or zebu – herds which were from a different origin in the Indus Valley.

“However, a dramatic change occurred around 4,000 years ago when we detect a widespread, wholesale influx of zebu genetics from the east,” added Verdugo.

The rapid influx that occurred at this point – despite Near Eastern Bos taurus and zebu having coexisted for previous millennia – may be linked to a dramatic multi-century drought that was experienced across the greater Near East, referred to as the 4.2-thousand years ago climate event. At this time the world’s first empires in Mesopotamia and Egypt collapsed and breeding with arid-adapted zebu bulls may have been a response to changing climate by ancient herders.

Professor of Population Genetics at Trinity, Dan Bradley, said: “This was the beginning of the great zebu diaspora that continues to the present day – descendants of ancient Indus Valley cattle are herded in each continental tropics region today.”

Sequencing Near Eastern wild cattle, or aurochs, also allowed the team to unpick the domestication of this most formidable of beasts. Whereas their similarity to the early cattle of Anatolia concurs with a primary origin there, it is clear that different local wild populations also made significant additional genetic contributions to herds in Southeast Europe and also in the southern Levant, adding to the distinctive make up of both European and African populations today.

“There is a great power in ancient genomics to uncover new, unforeseen tales from our ancient history,” added Professor Bradley.

This research was funded by a European Research Council Advanced Grant awarded to Professor Dan Bradley.

Contacts and sources:
Dan BradleyTrinity College Dublin

 



Source:
Support BeforeitsNews by trying our natural health products! Join our affiliate program
Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at www.mitocopper.com
Get our Free Ebook, "Suppressed Health Secrets" THEY don't want you to know!

APeX - Far superior to colloidal silver!  Desroys Viruses, Bacteria, Pathogens!
Ultimate Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.
Supreme Fulvic - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!
MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy.
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser! Cleans out toxic buildup!
B-12 - Supports healthy metabolism, brain function, hormone balance!
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Never Wax Your Car Again -
Protects vehicles for years with dazzling shine!
Smart Meter Cover - Reduces Smart Meter radiation! See Video!
Prodovite - The Secret To Healing is in the Blood!

Tactical Laser Blinds
Attackers
Bring Batteries Back
toLife!
New Laser Blinds Attackers Instantly! Bring Dead Batteries Back to life!

US Faces 100 Year Drought
Cut Power Bills by 65%
NASA - US Faces 100 Year Drought! Discovery Can Cut Power Bills by 65%
Report abuse

    Comments

    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    SignUp

    Login

    Newsletter

    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.