Zebu Cattle Domestication: Exploring The Model Of Animal Domestication

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Skeletal remains are useful for interpreting the model of animal exploitation employed in a specific region, especially for large mammals, whose carcasses are extremely difficult to transport. (Becker 2002). With the presence of the whole animal carcass suggests an economy based on management in which animals are readily available and are slaughtered and butchered onsite (Arbuckle, 2009). Furthermore, if a high presences of “high utility” remains such as the limb of the animal are more common when compared to low utility remains such as the head, we can conclude that slaughtering and butchering was done away form the site (Arbuckle, 2009). Another indication of cattle management can be seen through the difference in ages in skeletal profiles …show more content…
We also see the presences of full cattle skeleton found in the lower site of Çatalhöyük, which indicates cattle already onsite rather than taken from the wild. Later we see more of an increase in kill off of juvenile males at both sites , which is also indicative of a prey pathway in which herd management was already underway. This evidence is directly representative of a prey pathway where a species in originally hunted, then undergoes heard management and then later turns to full domestication. The domestication of Zebu (Bos indicus) happens roughly around the same time as the domestication of taurine. Zebu cattle domestication happened exclusively within the northern part of the Indian subcontinent (Chen, 2009) Zebus are humped cattle, found only in the tropical regions of the Indian sub-continent, Africa and parts of Southeast Asia. Zebu cattle are known to be less fertile than Bos taurus breeds which causes them to produce less milk, but are better adapted to the environmental conditions which makes them more likely to reproduce successfully in the tropics (Nogueira, 2004). They are not able survive in non-tropical countries just as the Bos taurus cannot thrive in tropical countries. Bos indicus were mainly used as beats of burden for …show more content…
Through DNA evidence, it has been identified that a secondary recruitment of wild aurochs has been brought into the heard management of zebu. This event was extremely necessary to the emergence of pastoralism throughout India around 5,500 – 4,000 BP. Later on we see a diffusion of zebu eastward toward Southeast Asia and Southern China (Chen, 2009). We even see a diffusion of zebu toward Africa. The earliest evidence for Zebu domestication in India can be found at the Mehrgarh site to the west of

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