The Cow Made Us Who We Are

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Among the first animals to be domesticated by man was the gentle cow. It happened more than 10,500 years ago in the regions of present-day northern Syria and eastern Turkey, near the Taurus Mountains. And OK, it wasn’t actually the cow as we know it today, but rather her ancestor, The Aurochs, which is now extinct. These beasts were huge, especially the males, and roamed large parts of Europe and Asia. It is also the central piece of the coat of arms to the historical region of Moldova in Eastern Europe.

The domestication of this beast was a tremendous leap forward for human kind as the cow offered man a lot of advantages he didn’t previously have. From being a stable and constant source of food, like milk and meat, cattle were also used as traction animals, pulling carts of heavy loads and plows in the fields.

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They were essentially, the backs on which early agriculture was built upon. This can be extremely evident when considering that the Aurochs or any other similar animal, didn’t exist in Africa, Australia or both American Continents, giving the people from Europe and Asia a definite edge in fast development.

What’s really amazing about the cow and its domestication is that all 1.5 billion cattle living on Earth today can trace their lineage back to only 80 original specimens. This is extraordinary even by today’s standards, let alone for 8,500 BC. DNA evidence gives credit to the “Dja´de” and “Çayönü” tribes for their domestication. Being so wild and fierce, the complete taming of the Aurochs took more than a thousand years. It is a complete miracle that Neolithic people were able to achieve it. The very last Aurochs died in 1627 in Poland, as a result of over-hunting; a sort of “Thank You” for all it’s done for us and our evolution.

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