Saturday, July 23, 2011

Goats in the British Museum

I went to the British Museum yesterday and found myself on a quest.  “Goats!”  I said to myself, “I must find goats”.  Where in a museum that spans the world and the centuries could one find goats?  Why, in Ancient Greece of course.  Join me as I show you some very ancient domesticated animals.  According to the very practical Storey's Guide to  Dairy Goats, "goats were among the first -- some say the first -- animals to be domesticated by humans, perhaps as long as 10,000 years ago" (p. 4, Belanger & Bredesen.  In an article by Zeder and Hesse, it is stated that "Initial goat domestication is documented in the highlands of western Iran at 10,000 calibrated calendar years ago" (Zeder & Hesse).  I enjoyed seeing the images of goats on painted vases especially the ones that were rearing up and butting heads.  This is an image that we see live almost everyday back on my farm - to think that people were watching this very same behavior back in BC times.  I’ve thrown in a chicken to the domestic mix because they just get along so well with goats.  There is also a mosaic of a gazelle that looks like a goat. 


Belanger, J. & Bredesen, S.T. (2010).  Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats, (4th ed).  North Adams,  MA: Storey Publishing.

Zeder, M.A. & Hesse, B. (2000, March 24). The initial domestication of goats (capra hircus) in the Zagros Mountains 10,000 years ago. Science, 287(5461), 2254-2257.

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