Before chickens were made nuggets, they were revered

The chicken mystery really has nothing to do with whether the egg came first or not. Scientists wanted to know when, where and how a wild bird arrived with human farmers to begin the road to Popeyes chicken sandwiches.

The deeper biological archaeologists and evolutionary biologists delve into the chicken’s deep past, the more complicated its history becomes and the harder it is to envision a time when they were not food. But recently, scientists have reconstructed the past, in which birds, descendants of the red jungle fowl, were first regarded by humans as wondrous and strange, then sometimes sacrificed to the ancient gods and Sometimes revered as a status symbol.

The details of when and where the chicken was domesticated are controversial. The painting appears to be one of the earliest domesticated paintings 8,000 years or more ago, possibly in China or India or Southeast Asia. But a pair of companion articles published Monday in the journals Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Ancient offers an updated origin story, taking the appearance of domestic chickens nearly 3,500 years ago in what is now Thailand.

The reports also suggest a new theory about how domestication took place. The researchers suggest that the first archaeological evidence of domestic chickens coincided with the arrival of rice and millet cultivation in dry fields that attracted wildfowl, bringing them out of the forest and into regular contact with the wild chickens. People.

Combined, the reports make the case for a “comprehensive reevaluation of chickens” and demonstrate “how wrong our understanding of when and where chicken domestication was,” says Greger Larson, An expert on domestication and ancient DNA at the University of Oxford said who the author is on both papers.

In a report in the journal Proceedings, researchers re-evaluated evidence from more than 600 sites in 89 countries and found the earliest fossils of domestic chickens at a Stone Age site, Ban Non Wat , in central Thailand. The bones are about 3,500 years old.

The study also found that chickens spread westward to Africa with seafaring merchants from Southeast Asia, and then finally north into Europe. Previous estimates of chickens arriving in Europe 7,000 years ago were inconsistent. Instead, the researchers estimate that chickens first arrived in Southern Europe 2,800 years ago. It took hundreds of years to reach more northern regions and a millennium to reach Scandinavia and Scotland.

Joris Peters of Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, an author of the paper in the Proceedings, says that the study “rewrites the origins and history of poultry production.”

The report in the journal Antiquity is based on radiocarbon dating of 23 chicken bone samples from North Africa and Europe, many of which have been studied before. It showed that three-quarters of the fossils were wrongly dated. In some cases, as is the case in Morocco, the remains of modern chickens (from 1950 onward) date back to the Iron Age.

Julia Best, an author of the report, said that with radiocarbon dating rather than with archaeological and geological methods, “We now have the clearest picture of the our initial interactions with chickens.”

Several patterns of how ancient people treated chickens become apparent with this method. In Britain and at Iron Age sites in Europe, researchers have found adult chickens buried alone with no signs of being slaughtered, with one even having a broken leg. healing, this shows human care.

It seems that man did not begin by eating birds, but by admiring their charismatic and strange presence. As the chicken spread across the world with extraordinary speed, every group of people seemed to treat it with reverence.

“For centuries, chickens have been honored and celebrated,” said Naomi Sykes, at the University of Exeter in the UK and author of both papers. Only later did we start eating them regularly.

Even when the birds arrive in a new location, evidence suggests that it takes chickens several hundred years of living with them to get to know them well and start eating them regularly. When the Romans invaded England, they ate birds, while the British did not.

As we know it now, familiarity eventually spawned McNuggets and a vast worldwide industry that produced tens of billions of chickens for consumption. The business has also caused outrage from activists who care about animal rights and has created research programs that take the animal out of the equation and go straight to Lab-grown skinless, boneless protein sheet.

Olivier Hanotte, an expert in animal genetics at the University of Nottingham in the UK and the International Livestock Research Institute, says the papers provide a “really good analysis of all the data”. Dr. Hanotte, who recently analyzed the origins of chickens with Dr. Larson and others but was not involved in either of the new papers, said the latest studies have demonstrated that domestication chicken transformation is more recent and spread very quickly around. world. “So we really shouldn’t say that the process of domestication is so ancient.”

However, he is not entirely convinced by the domestication hypothesis put forward in the paper, which the authors admit would require further research to confirm. He said that in many societies, children keep wild animals as pets. It could have been a precursor to domestication, he said, and would leave little mark.

Dr. Larson said the new hypothesis has merit because ideas about domestication often focus on human actions and intentions. First, he said, researchers need to look for a situation in which animals derive some benefit from association with humans.

The authors say that upland rice farming, which appeared in Thailand 3,500 years ago, with its large fallow fields and bordering bushes, may have been a more suitable place for wild chickens than the wings. conventionally irrigated fields in other areas.

“And that started this relationship,” Dr. Larson said.

Source link


News7h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button