The domestication of animals in southern Africa has receded into the past hundred years

In a cave in the north-west of Namibia found the earliest evidence of domestication of animals in sub-Saharan Africa.
Archaeologists have found stone and bone tools, beads and pendants, pieces of pottery and bones of many animals: guinea fowl, ostriches, lizards, turtles, antelopes, Cape hyraxes and various rodents.

Also hit two teeth that are too poorly preserved to be able to determine who they belonged to - a goat or a sheep, but their shape conforms to the shape of the teeth of modern African domestic goats and sheep. By the way, today in sub-Saharan Africa of wild goats and sheep there. The last wild species have become extinct, probably about 12 thousand. Years ago. Researchers believe they have found the remains of animals.

Teeth about 2 190 and 2 270 years. Until now we considered the oldest remains of sheep, who lived 2105 years ago in South Africa. (In all cases, the age determined by the radiocarbon method.)

At the same time, as the study's lead author David Plёrdo from the Paris National Museum of Natural History (France), in the cave there is no evidence that its inhabitants were shepherds. It is still unknown, whether herders migrated to these places, or animal husbandry has developed on local soil.

The study is published in the web journal PLoS ONE.


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