origin of dog domestication

origin of dog domestication

it seems certain that the wolf was the first animal domesticated by man, and this from the
tardiglacial, between 16,000 and 10,000 BC archaeological evidence has been found in
israel, siberia, central, and western Europe (for a recent review, see line 2006).
genetic data (savolainen et al. 2002) confirm this seniority and underline the importance of asian contributions to the genetic diversity of current dogs, but without convince of a single origin: it is likely that the domestication of the wolf was made in many parts of the old world and at different times. she was first, the fact of hunter-gatherers and, if it has undoubtedly changed some of their behavior (including hunting strategies), it has not significantly changed their lifestyle.

On the contrary, the domestications of animals that occurred during the temperate period that succeeded the tardiglacial, the holocene, from about 9200 BC, participated in an important mutation in the history of humanity, neolithization. In the current state of the in our knowledge, the oldest Holocene domestications are those of pigs and goats, of sheep and oxen, recorded in the Near East during the 9th millennium BC. It is also probably at this time, if not slightly earlier, but for
different reasons, that tamed cats have appeared in some villages near eastern countries.

Without going into details that we will come back to later, it should be stated at the outset that there are many indications that there are several places of domestication for the five species which have just been mentioned, as well as for those which have been mentioned since. For example, the
cattle were probably domesticated in eastern anatolia, the lower indus valley and maybe also in africa have recently suggested at least five domestication outbreaks for pigs, spread across south asia.

Southeast to Italy. One of the challenges of current research is to identify, locate and date the different domestication events for each species, to compare the conditions of these multiple domestications and to clarify any links they may have had among themselves, in order to contribute in this way to the knowledge of the transfer of know-how between cultures remote.


The domestication of llama and alpaca in northeastern south america (chile, peru,
bolivia, argentina) around 5000 BC, then that of the Barbary duck and the guinea pig in the same region in the second millennium BC show that, during the first part of the holocene, the domestication of animals from the annuity appeared independently in several parts of the world. even in america he doesn't there is little doubt that the domestications just mentioned did not inspire, even indirectly, that of turkey, which occurred in southern north america in the early days of the centuries of our era.

Let's go back to the old world where chicken domestication, in southeast asia and china in the
around the 5th millennium, then those of the buffalo, camel, horse, and donkey in the 5th-4th centuries millennia in different parts of asia, highlight the diversity of socio-economic situations of the societies that made these changes: some were sedentary, agricultural and urban,
other pastoralists and nomads. the domestication of the rabbit was the result, in the late middle ages age, a long process of appropriation engaged in the ancient leprosaria or from above middle Ages and accentuated in feudal garrisons where the animal was the object of a real "hunter-gatherer" (Callou 2003).


From this brief summary, it emerges that, on the scale of human history, domestication
an animal is a very recent
phenomenon, essentially centered on the Holocene period. we may think that the relative climatic stability of the latter has provided a favorable framework for the development of the societies that have practiced these domestications or for the development of the new neolithic way of life itself. but we can no longer support, as through the that the last cold of the tardiglacial or the warming of the Holocene was determining factors in domestication.


the great diversity of environmental, techno-economic and socio-cultural situations in which animal domestications occurred throughout the holocene suggests a multifactorial determinism that does not lend itself to generalization. 


certainly, domestication is always a mutually beneficial relationship between a human group and an animal subpopulation, the former controlling at least in part the reproduction of the latter. but each domestication is a particular event, the result, at a given moment, of balanced complex of the techno-economic and symbolic relationships that link a given population from a given animal species to a given human society.

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