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HomeUncategorizedRice farming brought chickens down from trees and allowed their domestication

Rice farming brought chickens down from trees and allowed their domestication


The evidence provided in Two new studies suggest that the process of domesticating chickens was much more recent than previously thought.

Chickens are the most numerous in the world. To understand when, where and how they were first associated with human societies, two teams of researchers correlated the first chickens with the first appearance of dry rice and millet cultivation.

The result suggests that the production and storage of these cereals could have acted as a magnet for their wild ancestors (the red bird of the jungle) will come down from the trees , thus allowing the start of their domestication process.

The studies, published in the journals Antiquity and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, were carried out by academics from universities in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Argentina.

Although previous research concluded that chickens were domesticated 10,000 years ago in China, Southeast Asia or India, and that they were present in Europe more than 7,000 years ago, the evidence provided by the new studies suggests that their domestication was much more recent than what was thought. Thus, domestic chickens would not have emerged until around 1650 B.C. C and 1250 a. C. in central Thailand.

According to one of the study’s authors, Professor Greger Larson of the University of Oxford, “this comprehensive reassessment of chickens demonstrates how wrong our understanding of the time and place of chicken domestication was in the first place.”

“And what is even more exciting, we show how the The advent of dry rice farming acted as a catalyst for both the domestication process of chickens and their global dispersal,” he added, quoted by The Guardian.

Following their domestication, chickens were transported first through Asia and then across the Mediterranean along routes used by early Greek sea traders, Etruscans and Phoenicians and did not arrive in Europe until around 800 BC. C, according to the researchers. Then, after their arrival in the Mediterranean region, they took almost 1,000 more years to establish themselves in the colder climates of Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia and Iceland.

Using radiocarbon dating analysis and other archaeological techniques and procedures, scientists concluded that during the Iron Age in Europe chickens were revered as exotic animals , as it shows that they were buried without sacrifice and sometimes with their own owners. It would not be until several centuries later, already in the Roman Empire, when they began to become popular as a food source.


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