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Cattle in China

11 November 2013

At www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-11/uoy-ruo110713.php … it seems cattle were domesticated in China around the same time as in Western Asia – at the beginning of the Holocene (ten thousand years ago). Morphological and genetic evidence for the management of cattle in NE China, raises some fundamental questions. Were cattle domesticated in different places rather than in one place and then disseminated through cultural exchange. In early Holocene Britain there is evidence that humans managed herds of deer, and even aurochs (wild cattle of the woods), to a certain degree. The fact that cattle domestication thrived across North Africa long before OK Egypt is another spoke in the wheel of Darwinian style cultural development, from one place (the so called Fertile Crescent) across nearby lands, and near and far. The date is derived from bones carbon dated to 10,660 years ago and that implies the people concerned could have been managing cattle for even longer – for all we know. If cattle management went back as far as the Pleistocene would this again imply that NE China was at that time in a temperate climatic zone?

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