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The domestication of animals is a process that started a long time ago, marking an important moment for human societies. We do not possess an exact time and place where it originated, although there is data that gives us an answer that makes it easy to determine it approximately. The impact of animal domestication on human societies is immense.
It can not be stressed enough how much it changed everything and marked the beginning of a new era. So, where and when did it begin? Most experts agree that the first domesticated animals appeared in Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia is a historical region located in Western Asia, in the Tigris-Euphrates river system.
The Legendary Mesopotamia
The area where Mesopotamia was situated is now the home to countries such as Kuwait, Syria, Turkey, and the majority of Iraq. The majority of researchers claim that the first domesticated animals appeared there around 10,000 years ago. Some, however, claim that it happened even earlier, almost 13,000 years ago. They claim that wolves were domesticated then, which led to the development of dogs, which might also be true. The place where it all happened, however, was Mesopotamia, that is one thing everyone agrees upon.
Before the process of domestication changed human societies forever, forcing humans to start developing more static societies, Mesopotamia was probably inhabited by many hunter tribes. Eventually, the region was inhabited by the Sumerians and Akkadians. It was eventually conquered by Alexander the Great, which is a story many should be familiar with.
Throughout history, there were many changes in who was controlling this region. It was extremely fruitful in multiple ways, so naturally, people wanted a part of it. It makes sense that such a region was responsible for the origins of animal domestication.
The Impact Of The Region
Some of the earliest developments of human society happened in Mesopotamia. They started happening during the Neolithic Revolution, which was around 12,000 years ago. This region is often named as having inspired the most important advancements in human history.
Many things were invented there, including the wheel and the planting of the first crops. Some other notable developments include the invention of mathematics, astronomy, cursive script, and agriculture. It is a region that was home to some of the biggest changes for our societies, and it helped pave the way for how we function today.
As far as animal domestication goes, the most important moment was the Younger Dryas period. It was marked by extremely cold weather, which forced humans to think of new ways of finding and hunting food. The cold was unbearable, and the humans needed to adapt. After it ended, humans most likely started thinking about the possibility of it happening again and found certain solutions to make it more bearable.
This was when they started domesticating plants and animals, and all of it started in the region of Mesopotamia. The population was getting bigger with each passing year, and humans needed animals to survive. The first domesticated animals were used for food, clothes, and shelter. Later on, humans started domesticating larger animals and used them for transportation and plowing. All of this helped the development of our societies into what they are today.
About the Author
Antonia is a sociologist and an anglicist by education, but a writer and a behavior enthusiast by inclination. If she's not writing, editing or reading, you can usually find her snuggling with her huge dog or being obsessed with a new true-crime podcast. She also has a (questionably) healthy appreciation for avocados and Seinfeld.
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