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Zooarchaeological and Genetic Evidence for the Origins of Domestic Cattle in Ancient China

Zooarchaeological and Genetic Evidence for the Origins of Domestic Cattle in Ancient China abstract: This article reviews current evidence for the origins of domestic cattle in China. We describe two possible scenarios: 1) domestic cattle were domesticated indigenously in East Asia from the wild aurochs ( Bos primigenius ), and 2) domestic cattle were domesticated elsewhere and then introduced to China. We conclude that the current zooarchaeological and genetic evidence does not support indigenous domestication within China, although it is possible that people experimented with managing wild aurochs in ways that did not lead to complete domestication. Most evidence indicates that domestic taurine cattle ( Bos taurus ) were introduced to China during the third millennium b.c., and were related to cattle populations first domesticated in the Near East. Zebu cattle ( Bos indicus ) entered China sometime between 2000 and 200 b.c., but much less is known about this species. The role of cattle as ritual and wealth animals seems to have been critical to their initial introduction. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Asian Perspectives University of Hawai'I Press

Zooarchaeological and Genetic Evidence for the Origins of Domestic Cattle in Ancient China

Asian Perspectives , Volume 56 (1) – May 26, 2017

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1535-8283
Publisher site
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Abstract

abstract: This article reviews current evidence for the origins of domestic cattle in China. We describe two possible scenarios: 1) domestic cattle were domesticated indigenously in East Asia from the wild aurochs ( Bos primigenius ), and 2) domestic cattle were domesticated elsewhere and then introduced to China. We conclude that the current zooarchaeological and genetic evidence does not support indigenous domestication within China, although it is possible that people experimented with managing wild aurochs in ways that did not lead to complete domestication. Most evidence indicates that domestic taurine cattle ( Bos taurus ) were introduced to China during the third millennium b.c., and were related to cattle populations first domesticated in the Near East. Zebu cattle ( Bos indicus ) entered China sometime between 2000 and 200 b.c., but much less is known about this species. The role of cattle as ritual and wealth animals seems to have been critical to their initial introduction.

Journal

Asian PerspectivesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: May 26, 2017

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