When has man had enough of chasing his food? For millions of years, people have relied on the providence and bounty of nature. Wherever they can, they collect dozens of varieties of edible plants and hunt the wild animals around them. Then, on sunny days, after the last ice age, more than 11,000 years ago, they decide to build stronger villages. They use mortar, dried mud and rocks to build their houses. They settle down. Then begins the slow Neolithic revolution, the foundation of our civilization.
The oldest archaeological evidence of the first great revolution of mankind can be found in the foothills of the Taurus Mountains in Anatolia, in the south of present-day Turkey.
After the last glacial peak, very sharp, the regions of the Near and Middle East benefit from a warm and humid temperate climate. All around the Syrian desert extends an area which forms an arc which goes from Egypt in the south, goes up towards Turkey, along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, then continues east and south to the plain of Mesopotamia crossed by the Tigris and the Euphrates. It is the fabulous Fertile Crescent.
The first domesticated animals
A few millennia later, the inhabitants of this same site continue to hunt Persian gazelles. But this time, the ordinary settles for the consumption of plants. The vegetable diet is dominated by two kinds of wheat and barley, rye, lentils and chickpeas. Women and men continue to grind. Then, around 7,500 BC. J.C., two newcomers are invited to the economy of substance: the sheep and the goat. They are the first domesticated animals.
In fact, the first domesticated animal is the wolf. The oldest testimony comes from the tomb of an old woman, found in Ain Mallaha, Israel, and dated to 10,000 BC. J.C. It is the skeleton of a wolf cub or a puppy aged 3 to 5 months, buried with his companion. For archaeologists, it is difficult to specify the transition from a wild animal to a domestic animal. In these periods between dog and wolf, it can be said that an animal is domesticated when, for example, the young are killed for their meat as well as the males around the age of two years, while the females are only eaten at an advanced age. This is also the case when significant changes affect morphology, such as the transformation of the scimitar-shaped horns of wild goats into the twisted horns of domesticated goats.