Topic ID #21017 - posted 6/25/2012 2:53 AM

Cattle Milked At Least 7,000 Years Ago



Jennifer Palmer

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Cattle Milked At Least 7,000 Years Ago
June 21, 2012 By Nathan 2 Comments

The first definitive evidence that cattle were used for their milk, by humans, in prehistoric Saharan Africa nearly 7,000 years ago is the focus of a study just published in the journal Nature.

The research was done by an international group of scientists, led by researchers from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom and including Kathleen Ryan of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

The research was done by analyzing fatty acids that were extracted from unglazed pottery excavated from an archaeological site in Libya. The researchers found that dairy fats had been processed in the pottery vessels. This is the first definite identification of dairying practices in the African continent, by prehistoric Saharan herders. It can be very accurately dated to the fifth millennium B.C.E.


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