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Q: Drinking dairy milk ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Drinking dairy milk
Category: Science > Agriculture and Farming
Asked by: nich-ga
List Price: $7.00
Posted: 26 Jun 2006 02:30 PDT
Expires: 26 Jul 2006 02:30 PDT
Question ID: 741074
When did humans start drinking cows milk, or any other type of
non-human milk? Did they feed it to just infants first, or humans of
all ages? Is it possible to know why they started?
Subject: Re: Drinking dairy milk
Answered By: answerfinder-ga on 26 Jun 2006 04:28 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Dear nich-ga,

I afraid that this question is impossible to answer as there is no
archaeological evidence which can be used as conclusive proof as to
when humans started drinking cows? or goats? milk. The earliest
written records refer to the practice of dairying, and there are
images on tombs and sculptures which give evidence of dairy farming
and herding goats for milk. Zooarchaeologists are now using new
techniques to identify milk fat residues on pottery sherds and it is
thought that this may well help in suggesting earlier dates in various
parts of the world.

At the moment it is suggested that between 10,000 and 6,000 years ago
there was a switch from hunting goats and cattle for their meat, to
domesticating them for their meat, milk, and for use in pulling carts,

As further reading, these various extracts from scholarly articles may
interest you. You will see from these how some of the recent
discoveries are pushing back the date dairying was first used.

?Traditionally, the first farm animals were thought to be wild goats
and sheep, tamed in southwest Asia around 10,000 years ago* by
sedentary cereal farmers who had wiped out the local wild game and
needed new sources of meat and hides. Domestic pigs and cattle
followed around 9000 years ago. And the earliest firm evidence of
dairy farming, from art and written texts, isn't until about 6000
years ago, although new dates could come from a new method for
identifying milk fat residues on pottery sherds,?
Reading the Signs of Ancient Animal Domestication

General article on agriculture in the last ten thousand years.
The Slow Birth of Agriculture

?Dirty cooking pots dating to nearly 8,000 years ago reveal that some
of Europe's earliest farming communities produced dairy products, such
as cheese and yogurt.
Two separate studies indicate that Neolithic dairying took place in
what are now Romania, Hungary and Switzerland.?
Discovery Channel

?Dairying in prehistory
The domestication of the principal livestock species (goat, sheep and
cattle) took place in the Near (Middle) East in the 8th millennium BC,
in the area known as the "Fertile Crescent". By the 4th millennium BC
there is evidence for the specialised exploitation of these animals
for milk, wool and traction purposes by the first urban communities in
Mesopotamia (Sherratt, 1981) , principally indicated by textual and
pictorial evidence.?
The Emergence of Dairying in Early Farming Practices of the Fertile
Crescent and the Balkans

?When, where, and why the shift from an emphasis upon primary (meat)
to secondary (milk, wool and traction) products of domestic animals
took place is uncertain. Epigraphic/glyptic and art factual sources
from, respectively, the near East and Central Europe point to a let
4th and early 3d millenium B.C. date in the Old World.?
A Zooarchaelogical perspective from the Central Balkans

The Initial Domestication of Goats (Capra hircus) in the Zagros
Mountains 10,000 Years Ago
?A distinct shift to selective harvesting of subadult males marks
initial human management and the transition from hunting to herding of
the species.?

?Archaeological evidence indicates that the goat was one of the first
animals to be domesticated by humans around 10,000 years ago at the
dawn of the Neolithic period in the Fertile Crescent (Porter 1996;
Pringle 1998).?
Phylogeography and Origin of Indian Domestic Goats

I hope this answers your question. If it does not, or the answer is
unclear, then please ask for clarification of this research before
rating the answer. I shall respond to the clarification request as
soon as I receive it.
Thank you

Search strategy
archeology milk
zooarchaeology milk
nich-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Interesting, thank you. It happened much earlier than I expected, so I
understand more detail is very difficult.

Subject: Re: Drinking dairy milk
From: answerfinder-ga on 27 Jun 2006 00:26 PDT
Dear nich-ga,
Thank you for the tip. Pleased I could help.

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