Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Home Lead Story Research on Link between Humans and Cats on Silk Road

Research on Link between Humans and Cats on Silk Road

The research reveals astonishing insights into the relationship between humans and pets at the time, the study says

In some news for cat lovers, new analyses done on an almost-complete cat skeleton found during an excavation along the former Silk Road in southern Kazakhstan indicates that common domestic cats, as we know them today, might have accompanied Kazakh pastoralists as pets more than 1,000 years ago.

An international research team led by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Korkyt-Ata Kyzylorda State University in Kazakhstan, the University of Tubingen and the Higher School of Economics in Russia has reconstructed the cat’s life, revealing astonishing insights into the relationship between humans and pets at the time, the study said.

Follow us on Twitter to get the latest news updates from us!!

The tomcat – which was examined by a team led by Dr. Ashleigh Haruda from the Central Natural Science Collections at MLU – did not have an easy life. “The cat suffered several broken bones during its lifetime,” says Haruda. And yet, based on a very conservative estimate, the animal had most likely made it past its first year of life. For Haruda and her colleagues, this is a clear indication that people had taken care of this cat.

Research on human-cat link on ancient Silk Road
It is remarkable that cats were already being kept as pets in this region around the 8th century AD. Pixabay

During a research stay in Kazakhstan, the scientist examined the findings of excavation in Dzhankent, an early medieval settlement in the south of the country which had been mainly populated by the Oghuz, a pastoralist Turkic tribe. The settlement was located along the Silk Road, an ancient network of important caravan routes that connected Central and East Asia with the Mediterranean region by land. There she discovered a very well-preserved skeleton of a cat.

According to Haruda, this is quite rare because normally only individual bones of an animal are found during an excavation. After its death, the tomcat was apparently buried and therefore the entire skull including its lower jaw, parts of its upper body, legs, and four vertebrae had been preserved.

Also Read: Cloud Kitchens: A New Norm For Dining

Analyses of bone samples provide information about the cat’s diet. Compared to the dogs found during the excavation and to other cats from that time period, this tomcat’s diet was very high in protein. “It must have been fed by humans since the animal had lost almost all its teeth towards the end of its life.”

DNA analyses also proved that the animal was indeed likely to be a domestic cat of the Felis catus L. species and not a closely related wild steppe cat. According to Haruda, it is remarkable that cats were already being kept as pets in this region around the 8th century AD. (IANS)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,773FollowersFollow

Most Popular

High Omega-3 Levels Reduce The Death Risk In Covid

People with higher omega-3 levels in their blood may have a reduced risk of death from Covid-19 infection, a new study suggests. The findings, published...

People Hesitant To Visit The Emergency In USA For Children

Nearly one in four families in the USA had said that they would be unlikely to bring their child to the emergency ward if...

UNEP Says There Is An Increase In Climate Litigations

Climate litigation cases have spiked in recent years, making the courtroom increasingly relevant to efforts to address climate change around the world, an UN...

Study Links Light Pollution And Preterm Birth

Light pollution, based on a direct measure of skyglow, could increase the likelihood of preterm birth, a new study suggests. The study, published in the...

A Farmer Protest Timeline: How Things Turned Violent In Delhi On R-Day

Farmers, who were seen as friendly and peaceful for more than 60 days as they waited for the government to accept their terms, suddenly...

Happy Childhood May Lower Drug Risk Among Teens

If your teenage child has memories of a happy childhood, they are less likely to indulge in drinking or substance abuse and enjoy learning,...

Priyanka Chopra: Its Enlightening To Understand The Importance Of Women In Leadership

Actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas is celebrating the women who helped in drafting the Indian Constitution and says it has been enlightening to understand the...

72nd Republic Day: Time For A Patriotic Musical Rewind

As India celebrates 72nd Republic Day on Tuesday, it is time for a musical rewind of Republic Day songs. There are countless classics that spring...

Recent Comments