Neolithic communities in the northern Mediterranean began milk production between 9000 and 7000 years ago, from the beginning of agriculture, as soon as they introduced the domestication of animals. Milk was an important food, which would have contributed significantly to the expansion of the first peasant communities, providing them with food and durable products. It would also have been a key factor for the extension and adoption of animal domestication in the region. This is indicated by an international research published in PNAS , which provides new evidence and a regional perspective on the exploitation of the first domestic animals in this geographical area. The study, led by the Universities of York and Bristol and the Center National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), with the participation of the UAB, has combined, for the first time, the analysis of animal fat residues –

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lipids – in 567 fragments of ceramic vessels, with the analysis of the mortality profiles – the age of death of the specimens – of the main species of domestic animals found in 82 sites Estonia Email List in the northern Mediterranean and the Near East, dated between the seventh and fifth millennium BC. The results show diversified animal management at the beginning of the Neolithic. The obtaining of milk and its processing had diverse implantation in the region, although the majority of communities began to exploit this product in parallel with the domestication of animals. The discovery of dairy residues in ceramics from 7000 BC shows the importance of dairy products both in the east and in the west; while in northern Greece, the intensity would have been much lower, with food production based on meat, mainly pork. The importance of meat and milk production in the Neolithic

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Mediterranean is a subject of debate among experts, with previous research suggesting that the attraction to milk may have been key to the domestication of ruminants such as cows, goats, and sheep. The professor of the Department of Prehistory of the UAB and co-author of the study, Maria Saña, points out that “the finding has a special relevance, because the integration of milk production in subsistence practices remodeled the economy and human nutrition in such a way which is still perceptible today ”. Goats and sheep in the Iberian Peninsula The ancient Neolithic sites of the Iberian Peninsula analyzed show that sheep and goats would have been the main component of the first herds of domestic animals in this westernmost area of ​​the Mediterranean, also documenting a strong correlation between the ages at which goats and oxen They were intended for human consumption

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