Sunday, October 15, 2006

Goats Key to Spread of Farming, Gene Study Suggests

Two-page article about the role of goat in the spread of farming throughout the Old World: "Goats accompanied the earliest farmers into Europe some 7,500 years ago, helping to revolutionize Stone Age society, a new study suggests. The trailblazing farm animals were hardy and highly mobile traveling companions to ancient pioneers from the Middle East who introduced agriculture to Europe and elsewhere, researchers say. The onset of farming ushered in the so-called Neolithic Revolution, when settled communities gradually replaced nomadic tribes and their hunter-gatherer lifestyles between 8000 and 6000 B.C. A team of archaeologists and biologists has traced the origins of domesticated goats in Western Europe to the Middle East at the beginnings of the Neolithic period. The study is based on DNA analysis of goat bones from a Stone Age cave in France and suggests the animals spread across Europe quickly after their introduction. The team says its findings, reported this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that goats may have played a key role in the rise and spread of farming worldwide."
See the above page for more.

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