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Domestication Of The Donkey May Have Taken A Long Time
Science Daily ^ | 3-13-2008 | Washington University in St. Louis

Posted on 03/13/2008 6:36:00 PM PDT by blam

Domestication Of The Donkey May Have Taken A Long Time

An international group of researchers has found evidence for the earliest transport use of the donkey and the early phases of donkey domestication, suggesting the process of domestication may have been slower and less linear than previously thought. (Credit: iStockphoto/Andrea Laurita)

ScienceDaily (Mar. 13, 2008) — An international group of researchers has found evidence for the earliest transport use of the donkey and the early phases of donkey domestication, suggesting the process of domestication may have been slower and less linear than previously thought.

Based on a study of 10 donkey skeletons from three graves dedicated to donkeys in the funerary complex of one of the first Pharaoh's at Abydos, Egypt, the team, led by Fiona Marshall, Ph.D., professor of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, and Stine Rossel of the University of Copenhagen, found that donkeys around 5,000 years ago were in an early phase of domestication. They looked like wild animals but displayed joint wear that showed that they were used as domestic animals.

"Genetic research has suggested African origins for the donkey," said Marshall. "But coming up with an exact time and location for domestication is difficult because signs of early domestication can be hard to see. Our findings show that traces of human management can indicate domestication before skeletal or even genetic changes."

Domestication of the donkey from the African wild ass was a pivotal point in human history. It transformed ancient transport systems in Africa and Asia and the organization of early cities and pastoral societies.

The research team examined the 5,000-year-old Abydos skeletons along with 53 modern donkey and African wild ass skeletons. Analysis showed that the Abydos metacarpals were similar in overall proportions to those of wild ass, but individual measurements varied. Mid-shaft breadths resembled wild ass, but mid-shaft depths and distal breadths were intermediate between wild ass and domestic donkey.

Despite this, all the Abydos skeletons exhibited a range of wear and other pathologies on their bones consistent with load carrying. Morphological similarities to wild ass show that despite their use as beasts of burden, donkeys were still undergoing considerable phenotypic change during the early dynastic period in Egypt. This pattern is consistent with recent studies of other domestic animals that suggest that the process of domestication is slower and more complicated than had been previously thought.

The previously unpublished research was presented in "Domestication of the Donkey: New Data on Timing, Process and Indicators" in the March 10 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Adapted from materials provided by Washington University in St. Louis, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: agriculture; animalhusbandry; dietandcuisine; domestication; donkey; freepun; godsgravesglyphs; helixmakemineadouble; horse; huntergatherers; mule; yathink
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To: 6SJ7; SamAdams76; najida

Careful where you give that jump command.


21 posted on 03/13/2008 7:27:58 PM PDT by DannyTN
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To: blam; SunkenCiv; LS; eeevil conservative; Buckhead; onyx

General Sherman tamed a few in Georgia, a hundred-some years ago.

I wonder what his secret was?


22 posted on 03/13/2008 7:40:04 PM PDT by The Spirit Of Allegiance (Public Employees: Honor Your Oaths! Defend the Constitution from Enemies--Foreign and Domestic!)
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To: SunkenCiv
"Sooooo, it hadn’t been posted, eh? :’) Equus sworn it hadn’t."

AHEM

How Wild Asses Became Donkeys Of The Pharaohs
(3-10-2008)

23 posted on 03/13/2008 7:42:10 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: SeanOGuano
Oh. We’re talking about donkeys, not monkeys.

I suppose you could train a donkey to collect some coin and find an old, use Hammond organ somewhere. Now that would be an act I'd watch.

24 posted on 03/13/2008 7:57:27 PM PDT by seowulf
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To: blam
The previously unpublished research was presented in "Domestication of the Donkey: New Data on Timing, Process and Indicators" in the March 10 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Pheeew! Whata a relief! I can sleep well now.

25 posted on 03/13/2008 8:08:45 PM PDT by Leo Carpathian (fffffFRrrreeeeepppeeee!)
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To: SeanOGuano
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The Doors did the organ thing with a donkey. Just wanted to bring this back on topic.

26 posted on 03/13/2008 8:38:20 PM PDT by Ghengis (Of course freedom is free. If it wasn't, it would be called expensivedom. ~Cindy Sheehan 11/11/06)
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To: SeanOGuano
Oh. We’re talking about donkeys, not monkeys. Never mind.

Glad you mentioned that. I was thinking of a bumper sticker for this year's campaign (if Baraq and the Nominatrix got on the same nightmare ticket):

BUY ONE SURRENDER MONKEY, GET ONE FREE

However, I realized I'd probably go to prison for that one, given the present atmosphere of political sensitivity. Soooo, I thought why not:

BUY ONE SURRENDER DONKEY, GET ONE FREE

The finishing touch would be the red-circle-slash logo over the 'D' on 'donkey'. Think that might be a bumper sticker that would stick?

27 posted on 03/13/2008 9:23:56 PM PDT by Migraine (Diversity is great...(until it happens to YOU).)
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To: blam
No sarcasm here:
I'm really sorry that so many fail to see significance in something as fundamental as (a) domesticating the wild ass, something so significant as (b) the world's first nation state, something so extraordinary as (c) royal funerary sites for - donkeys - or (d) something as neat as "all of the above".

I love the humor that exists within FR, but wonder sometimes about it's wholesale application.

Thanks Blam, for an interesting and constructive post.

28 posted on 03/13/2008 9:44:01 PM PDT by norton
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To: wildbill; blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
It's another wild ass topic. Thanks Blam. Nice to see a link to that other one as well (ahem). ;')

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


29 posted on 03/13/2008 10:21:05 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/______________________Profile updated Saturday, March 1, 2008)
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To: The Spirit Of Allegiance

Maybe they were feral, rather than wild per se. :’)


30 posted on 03/13/2008 10:22:23 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/______________________Profile updated Saturday, March 1, 2008)
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To: norton

What you said, me too.


31 posted on 03/13/2008 11:38:32 PM PDT by Judith Anne (I have no idea what to put here. Not a clue.)
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To: The Spirit Of Allegiance

Carrots.


32 posted on 03/14/2008 5:19:35 AM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of News)
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To: blam

Maybe the guy who owned all the donkeys didn’t want his family to have them after he passed on...

Much like a rich guy who gives away all his wealth when he dies to keep it out of the hands of his spoiled, adult children.


33 posted on 03/14/2008 2:56:01 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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