Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bone wear indicates Egyptians domesticated donkeys in 3,000 BCE

It never ceases to amaze me how much scientists can determine from examining skeletal remains:

"Donkeys may first have been domesticated in ancient Egypt around 3,000BC, research suggests.

A study of 10 donkey skeletons found near a pharoah’s tomb has found that the animals were in the early phases of domestication.

Professor Fiona Marshall, of Washington University, St Louis, said: “Genetic research has suggested African origins for the donkey. But coming up with an exact time and location for domestication is difficult.” The donkey skeletons resemble those of wild animals but show patterns of joint wear which indicate they were used for transport."