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Domestications of Animals and Plants

Domestication means altering the behaviors, size and genetics of animals and plants. This page includes information about when and where plant and animal domestication occurred in the world.
  1. Animal Domestication Histories (21)
  2. Plant Domestication Histories (22)

Llama and Alpaca
Llamas and alpacas are two species of camelid (camels) native to South America. Both of them were domesticated in the Andean highlands about 6,000-7,000 years ago.

Saffron (Crocus sativus)
The spice saffron has been used for its aroma and flavor and vivid yellow pigment for some four thousand years, and is most famous for being ludicrously expensive.

Coca History
The earliest use of coca, from whence natural cocaine comes, is in South America, approximately 8,000 years ago.

Illustrated Guide to Animal Domestication
The Illustrated Guide to the Domestication of Animals has photos and brief essays about many of the animals that humans have domesticated.

Oasis Theory
The Oasis Theory is a core concept in archaeology, referring to one of the main hypotheses about the origins of agriculture.

Rice Domestication Bibliography
this document is a list of articles and books which were consulted during the composition of two articles on rice domestication.

The Domestication of Maize
Maize, or American corn, is an ancient and complex domestication history.

The archaeological use of the term horticulture is used to describe a subsistence strategy between hunting and gathering and full fledged agriculture.

Avocado History
The lovely alligator pear is native to Central America.

Domestication of Chickens
When and where chickens were domesticated is something of a puzzle, but most likely it was about 8,000 years ago in Thailand.

Pastoralism is the name given to the way of life in which people herd animals.

The Domestication of Pigs
The domestication history of pigs includes an interesting variation on a theme: although like many other animals and plants pigs were brought to Europe, pigs are native to Europe, and that complicates things quite a bit.

Animal Domestication: Table of Dates and Places
Domestication is the process of genetically adapting an animal or plant to better suit the needs of human beings; this page includes a definition of domestication and a table of domestication dates for animals in the world.

Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
Chickpeas were domesticated about 11,000 years ago in what is now Turkey; but the changes instilled by Neolithic people are unlike most other domesticates.

History of Dog Domestication

Domestication of Broomcorn
Broomcorn or broomcorn millet (Panicum miliaceum), also known as proso millet, panic millet, and and wild millet, is today primarily considered a weed suitable for bird seed; but it was one of the earliest domesticated crops in China and the world

Domestication of Rice
When and where was rice first domesticated? Findings suggest it was first cultivated in Asia, before about 10,000 bp.

Wheat Domestication
Wheat, several forms of the genus Triticum, was first domesticated some 10,000 years ago, probably somewhere in what is today southeastern Turkey.

Plant Domestication Table of Dates and Places
A table of dates, places, and links to further detailed information about the domestication of plants.

Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L)
Beans are an American domesticate, and they are tasty and very very good for you, even if they have a dark history.

Cattle Herding
Although evidence for hunting wild forms of cattle exists on some of to our earliest days on the planet, herding cattle was first accomplished in Western Asia by about 6000 BC, and in the eastern Sahara desert about 1000 years earlier.

Silkworms and Silk Making
The use of the silk worm species Bombyx to produce cloth was invented at least as early as the Longshan period (3500-2000 BC), and perhaps earlier.

Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas) Domestication
The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) was first domesticated in South or Central America, and from there spread around the world.

Mammalian Domestication Syndrome - Mechanisms behindTaming Animals
The suite of physical and behavioral changes that domestic mammals share and untamed beasts do not is a puzzling one, but scientists think they know why.

Domestication of Goats
Domestic goats (Capra hircus) were domesticated between 10,500-10,800 years ago, in Southwestern Asia.

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