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Science. 2000 Mar 24;287(5461):2254-7.

The initial domestication of goats (Capra hircus) in the Zagros mountains 10,000 years ago.

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  • 1Archaeobiology Program, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560-0112, USA. zeder.melinda@nmnh.si.edu

Abstract

Initial goat domestication is documented in the highlands of western Iran at 10,000 calibrated calendar years ago. Metrical analyses of patterns of sexual dimorphism in modern wild goat skeletons (Capra hircus aegagrus) allow sex-specific age curves to be computed for archaeofaunal assemblages. A distinct shift to selective harvesting of subadult males marks initial human management and the transition from hunting to herding of the species. Direct accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dates on skeletal elements provide a tight temporal context for the transition.

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PMID:
10731145
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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