Skip to comments.Ancient North Africans got milk: Herders began dairying around 7,000 years ago
Posted on 06/22/2012 3:53:25 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Animal herders living in what was a grassy part of North Africa's Sahara Desert around 7,000 years ago had a taste for cattle milk, or perhaps milk products such as butter. Researchers have identified a chemical signature of dairy fats on the inside surfaces of pottery from that time.
Dairy products played a big part in the diets of these ancient Africans, even though they did not live in farming villages as the earliest European milk users did, reports a team led by biogeochemists Julie Dunne and Richard Evershed, both of the University of Bristol in England.
Dairying may have spread from the Middle East and nearby areas -- where farming emerged around 10,000 years ago -- to Africa and Europe within a couple thousand years, the scientists propose in the June 21 Nature.
Chemical evidence shows that cattle milked in the ancient Sahara ate plants from both cool, wet areas and hot, dry expanses. "Animals were being moved around the landscape between different ecosystems containing different plants, possibly as a result of seasonal variations in available pastures," Evershed says.
Researchers generally assume that North Africans domesticated cattle, sheep and goats before growing crops. Previously excavated bones of domesticated animals date to roughly 8,000 years ago in North Africa. Rock paintings in the region depict cattle herding and a few instances of milking, but no reliable dates exist for these artworks.
An early date for dairying in North Africa "implies that one of the reasons local African peoples adopted cattle was for their milk products," says anthropologist Diane Gifford-Gonzalez of the University of California, Santa Cruz.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencenews.org ...
A rock art depiction of domesticated cattle thought to date to between 8,000 and 5,000 years ago comes from a part of the Sahara Desert where chemical evidence now shows that people milked cattle 7,000 years ago. Roberto Ceccacci, Â© The Archaeological Mission in the Sahara/Sapienza Univ. of Rome
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Doesn’t he mean they gotted milk?
The real question is, did they have tose, or did they lack tose?
Butter was a major discovery. Enough of it makes anything edible, even Brussels sprouts.
“implies that one of the reasons local African peoples adopted cattle was for their milk products,”
But, but years ago I heard a black woman say that dairys were racist because many blacks cannot digest milk!
“Ancient North Africans got milk: Herders began dairying around 7,000 years ago.....”
Well........yeah! Since Creation took place approximately 6K to 10K years ago, that figure would be inside the ballpark....right near second base, as I see it.
I seriously doubt that.
Yet another instance of bad science (or bad reporting)...it could be that the herders weren't African (i.e., not Negroid)...remember the post I made the other day that contained the tidbit about the genetic haplotype that emerged in Europe and then migrated back to Africa?
To prehistoric dairymen/maids: Thank you, from the bottom of my ice-cream lovin’ heart.
They may not have needed the lactose enzyme to digest milk. Given the high temperatures of north Africs, it is entirely possible that milk stored in pots or leather or bladder pouches would have converted rather rapidly into a yogurt type food. This occurs above around 90 degrees F. I know, I have made yogurt. Lower temperatures will give you sour milk and then conversion possible to cheese.
I had a co-worker from Jamaica who was complaining of itchy irritated eyes. I thought it might be Vitamin A or riboflavin deficiency. When she told me she was lactose intolerant and did not use milk, I decided it was riboflavin. I told her to eat 2 servings of yogurt a day, and within a month her eyes were fine. Souring of milk uses up the lactose.
Another thing some of those people did/do is prick a neck vein of their cattle, extract blood and mix it with milk for a rich, high protein food. They were careful not to take too much blood.
I’d herd that too. ;’)
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