introduction of domestic cattle and the process of Neolithization
Domestic cattle were brought to Spain by early settlers and agricultural societies. Due to missing Neolithic sites in the Spanish region of Galicia, very little is known about this process in this region. We sampled 18 cattle subfossils from different ages and different mountain caves in Galicia, of which 11 were subject to the sequencing of the mitochondrial genome and phylogenetic analysis, to provide insight into the introduction of cattle to this region. We detected a high similarity between samples from different time periods and were able to compare the time frame of the first domesticated cattle in Galicia to data from the connecting region of Cantabria to show a plausible connection between the Neolithization of these two regions. Our data show a close relationship between the early domesticated cattle of Galicia and modern cow breeds and gives a general insight into cattle phylogeny. We conclude that settlers migrated to this region of Spain from Europe and introduced common European breeds to Galicia.
Let's Dive deep:
what was subjected to study-
Total 18 bone samples of Bos Primigenius and Bos Taurus, collected from 7 mountain caves and two archeological sites in Galicia, Spain. They are currently stored at Instituto Universitario de Xeoloxía, University of A Coruña.
what was known:
The study found valuable information about ancient domesticated cattle and the people who looked after them.
The samples of Bos Primigenius also known as wild aurochs date back as far as around 9000 BC, the period before the Neolithic, known as the Mesolithic period. They existed before the huge transition of human practices took place.
The study tells us that aurochs were brought to this region of Northern Spain well before 9000 BC.
The papers also shed light on European cattle. Relating to an increase of work in the gold mines in the Roman era, bigger and robust castles were adopted and the management of cattle changed too accordingly.