Archaeologists have discovered evidence of chickens raised by the Japanese Yayoi culture. Hokkaido University reports.
The chicken is one of the most common farm animals in the world, with about 33 billion individuals of these birds living at the same time. At the same time, the history of chicken domestication is an important scientific issue: It is believed that they were domesticated by the ancient inhabitants of Southeast Asia about 3,500 thousand years ago, but it is not clear exactly how these animals spread around the world. World. It was unclear when domestic chickens in particular originated in Japan.
Masaki Eda, et al./Frontiers in Earth Science
Now, Masaki Eda and colleagues have uncovered archaeological evidence of chicken breeding by the ancient Japanese Yayoi culture. Its representatives lived in the period from 300 BC. and 300 AD Hens in the 5th-2nd century BC. It turned out that it was grown in Karako-Kagi, a settlement of the Yayoi period dating back to the 16th century. At the same time, it is very difficult to distinguish domestic adult animals from the remains of wild close relatives caught for prey.
Therefore, it is particularly important that four of the ten bones found belonged to the chicks, and this is considered evidence of bird reproduction at this location. The fact that these are chickens, not pheasants, was determined by analyzing collagen from bones using a mass spectrometer – the chemical composition of this substance differs in these two species, despite the external similarity of the skeleton. Radiocarbon dating has shown that individuals died between 381 and 204 BC.
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