Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hunting and Animal Domestication on the Nile

The Nile and Region

My posts for the next few weeks will focus on evidence for hunting and animal domestication on the Nile during the epipaleolithic.  Many African domestic animals such as the goat appear to have come to the continent  in the early Neolithic by way of South East Asia.  In this regard, Melinda A. Zeder has focused on domestication on the Taurus-Zagros arc and Levant (link).  Other animals such as the zebu came to Africa from South Asia (link). However, not all African domesticated animals are imports. There is genetic evidence that some African cattle are partly descendants of Nile aurochs. On the Nile, it is likely that there was a long process of insipient domestication of many animals, of which only a small number became full domesticates.

I'll be quoting from works on the Nile epipaleolithic that discuss the archaeological evidence for the auroch, hartebeest, rhinoceros and gazelle.  I'll then focus on genetic studies of African cattle that are believed to have originated on the Nile such as the N'dama breed.


  1. Which is that evidence? Is there a study?

  2. There's extensive information on Nile epipaleolithic hunting and early domestication in the text "The Archaeology of Africa", referenced in the side bar of this blog under "BOOKS".

    Genetics of N'Dama cattle are covered in the paper "Genome-Wide Survey of SNP Variation Uncovers the Genetic Structure of Cattle Breeds"

    The FAO also has published on line extensive information about African cattle.


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