Tuesday, 22 August 2017
Earliest expansion of animal husbandry beyond the Mediterranean zone in the sixth millennium BC.
Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 2;7(1):7146. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-07427-x. Ethier J1, Bánffy E2, Vuković J3, Leshtakov K4, Bacvarov K5, Roffet-Salque M6, Evershed RP6, Ivanova M7. Author information 1 Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Vorderasiatische Archäologie, Universität Heidelberg, Marstallhof 4, 69117, Heidelberg, Germany. 2 Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Palmengartenstr. 10-12, 60325, Frankfurt, Germany. 3 Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Čika Ljubina 18-20, 11000, Belgrade, Serbia. 4 Department of Archaeology, Faculty of History, Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, 15 Tzar Osvoboditel Boulevard, 1504, Sofia, Bulgaria. 5 National Institute of Archaeology and Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 2 Saborna St., 1000, Sofia, Bulgaria. 6 Organic Geochemistry Unit, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Cantock's Close, Bristol, BS8 1TS, United Kingdom. 7 Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Vorderasiatische Archäologie, Universität Heidelberg, Marstallhof 4, 69117, Heidelberg, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org. Abstract Since their domestication in the Mediterranean zone of Southwest Asia in the eighth millennium BC, sheep, goats, pigs and cattle have been remarkably successful in colonizing a broad variety of environments. The initial steps in this process can be traced back to the dispersal of farming groups into the interior of the Balkans in the early sixth millennium BC, who were the first to introduce Mediterranean livestock beyond its natural climatic range. Here, we combine analysis of biomolecular and isotopic compositions of lipids preserved in prehistoric pottery with faunal analyses of taxonomic composition from the earliest farming sites in southeast Europe to reconstruct this pivotal event in the early history of animal husbandry. We observe a marked divergence between the (sub)Mediterranean and temperate regions of Southeast Europe, and in particular a significant increase of dairying in the biochemical record coupled with a shift to cattle and wild fauna at most sites north of the Balkan mountain range. The findings strongly suggest that dairying was crucial for the expansion of the earliest farming system beyond its native bioclimatic zone. PMID: 28769118 PMCID: PMC5541088 DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-07427-x Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Google+ Images from this publication.See all images (4)Free text Figure 1Figure 2Figure 3Figure 4 LinkOut - more resources PubMed Commons home PubMed Commons