Goats were man's first livestock

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The Independent Online

The goat was the first livestock animal to be domesticated by man, a study has found. This occurred 10,000 years ago in the eastern part of the fertile crescent - what is now the Zagros mountains of Iran.

The goat was the first livestock animal to be domesticated by man, a study has found. This occurred 10,000 years ago in the eastern part of the fertile crescent - what is now the Zagros mountains of Iran.

A study of ancient goat bones revealed humans began herding wild goats long before they domesticated other animals such as cattle, pigs or sheep, so elevating the humble nanny to the status of being one of man's oldestedible friends.

Melinda Zeder, an archaeobiologist from the Smithsonian Institution, came to the conclusion after studying a museum collection of ancient bones from 36 wild and four domestic goats from six different regions of Iran and Iraq. By studying the ages and sexes of the animals at the time of death, she could conclude whether they were being hunted in the wild or slaughtered from a domestic herd.

However, dogs were domesticated long before goats, for their hunting instincts rather than as a source of food.

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