8, 000 Years of Cattle in Africa.

  • Author: K. Ann Horsburgh
  • Topic: 2000 to 10,000 BP,Zooarchaeology
  • Related Congress: 13th Congress, Dakar

African cattle are economically, socially and ideologically important across much of Africa, but the patterns interbreeding between Bos taurus and Bos indicus during their prehistory on the continent is not well understood. Toward the end of the 19th century, Africa saw the confluence of disease epidemics and a deteriorating climate impact the health of cattle populations such that only 25% of sub-Saharan cattle survived. Such a dramatic reduction in population size, followed by interbreeding with cattle introduced from outside the continent, must have profoundly altered the nature of the gene pool of cattle on the continent. Here, we report preliminary data on DNA preserved in sizeable sample of modern cattle as well as archaeological cattle remains a adding a temporal dimension to our understanding of the genetics and prehistory of African cattle.

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