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Animal Domestications


Sardinian Wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica

The wildcat, Felis silvestris lybica, which was trapped in Israel as part of C.A. Driscoll's research into the origin of cat domestication. Cats similar to this one were the likely ancestor of the domestic cat.

Science (c) 2007 and C.A. Driscoll
Our modern day cat (Felis silvestris catus) is descended from one of five separate wild cats. The oldest archaeological evidence for domesticated cats has been found on the Greek island of Cyprus, where several animal species including cats were introduced by 7500 BC. Further, at the Neolithic site of Shillourokambos, a purposeful cat burial was found next to a human burial, dated between 9500-9200 years before the present.

The next is 6th millennium BC Haçilar, Turkey, where female figurines carrying cats or catlike figures in their arms have been discovered. There is some debate about the identification of these creatures as cats. Haçilar is well outside the normal distribution of F. s. lybica.
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