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Thread: Where and when were various plants and animals domesticated?

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    Post Where and when were various plants and animals domesticated?

    A lot of people interested in history and archaeology know that wheat, barley, chickpeas, and animals like sheep, goats, pigs and cows were all domesticated in the Fertile Crescent during the Early Neolithic period, between 12,500 and 10,000 years ago (perhaps as early as 20,000 years ago for wheat). But what about other species? Where do commonly used herbs, spices, vegetables and fruits come from? That's what I will attempt to answer here with this list.


    - Rice : Probably domesticated twice independently, in China (12,000–13,500 years ago) and India (at least 7000 years ago).
    - Maize (corn) : Domesticated in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago.
    - Buckwheat : Domesticated in inland Southeast Asia, possibly around 8000 years ago.
    - Millet : Domesticated at least 7000 years ago in China

    Herbs & Spices

    - Coriander : Domesticated in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Early Neolithic (at least 11,000 years ago).
    - Onion : Origins unknown, but cultivated in the Middle East and China for at least 7000 years.
    - Garlic : Native to Central Asia and northeastern Iran. It has been cultivated for over 5000 years in the Middle East.
    - Basil : Possibly first cultivated in India over 5000 years ago
    - Cumin : Cultivated in the Levant and Egypt for some 4000 years.
    - Black pepper : Native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. It has been known to Indian cooking at least 4000 years.
    - Cinnamon : It was already imported to ancient Egypt 4000 years ago, although its origins are unknown. Historically most of the cinnamon has been grown in Sri Lanka, where it might have originated.
    - Saffron : Was probably first cultivated in or near Greece about 3500 years ago.


    - Sweet potatoes : Domesticated in the Andes some 10,000 years ago
    - Carrots : Originated in Persia at least 5000 years ago.
    - Lettuce : First cultivated in ancient Egypt over 4500 years ago.
    - Leeks : Originated in the Mediterranean over 4000 years ago.
    - Spinach : Originated in ancient Persia at least 3000 years ago.
    - Cabbage : The wild ancestor of cabbage, Brassica oleracea, originally found in Britain and continental Europe. Nonheading cabbages and kale were probably the first to be domesticated at least 3000 years ago by the Celts of central and western Europe.
    - Broccoli : Developed in southern Europe (probably in Italy) around 2500 years ago.
    - Radishes : Probably originated in the Middle East some 2500 years ago.


    - Figs : Cultivated in the Fertile Crescent during the Early Neolithic (oldest evidence from 11,300 years ago).
    - Plums : First cultivated in the Near East during the Early Neolithic, at least 10,000 years ago.
    - Pumpkins : Domesticated in Mexico between 7500 and 9000 years ago.
    - Grapes : First cultivated in the South Caucasus at least 8000 years ago.
    - Bananas : First cultivated in Papua New Guinea between 7000 and 10,000 years ago.
    - Olives : First cultivated in the Eastern Mediterranean over 7000 years ago.
    - Mangoes : Have been cultivated in South Asia for at least 6000 years.
    - Pears : Originated around the Tian Shan, between central Asia and western China, about 6000 years ago. Its cultivation spread across Europe during the Bronze Age.
    - Capsicum (peppers) : First cultivated in Mexico at least 5000 years ago.
    - Melons : Domesticated in Egypt some 4700 years ago.
    - Watermelons : Domesticated in southern Africa (possibly Namibia) at least 4500 years ago.
    - Oranges : Domesticated in China 4500 years ago.
    - Apples : Modern apples are a hybrid of Central Asian and European apples that may have emerged about 4000 years ago.
    - Peaches : First cultivated in China 4000 years ago.
    - Cucumbers : First cultivated in India at least 3000 years ago.
    - Tomatoes : First cultivated in Mesoamerica at least 2500 years ago.
    - Persimmon (kaki) : First cultivated in southern China at least 2500 years ago.
    - Apricots : Wild varieties are native to China, Korea and Japan, but it was first cultivated in China some 2000 years ago.
    - Cherries : Native to most of Europe, western Asia, and parts of northern Africa. First cultivated in Roman times.
    - Lemons : Wild variety originating from Northeast India and Burma, but the modern fruit is a hybrid of bitter orange and citron created in the Mediterranean region around 1600 years ago.


    - Dogs : Earliest known domesticated wolves date from 31,700 years ago in Belgium (Goyet Cave near Namur). May have spread across Siberia from Palaeolithic Europe, as the next evidence of domesticated dogs appears in Northeast Asia some 15,000 years ago.
    - Cats : Were domesticated in the Near East during the Early Neolithic around 9,500 years ago.
    - Donkeys : Domesticated about 7500 years ago in Egypt or Nubia.
    - Horses : Domesticated in the Middle Volga region of Russia 6000 years ago.
    - Chickens : Origins still unknown. Could have been domesticated in Southern China 8000 years ago or in the Harappan culture in Pakistan 5000 years ago.
    - Camels : Dromedaries first domesticated in Somalia and southern Arabia around 5000 years ago, while the Bactrian camel was domesticated in southern Central Asia around 4500 years ago.
    - Geese : Probably domesticated in Egypt more than 4,000 years ago.
    - Ducks : Mallard ducks were first domesticated in Southeast Asia at least 4000 years ago.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 24-02-18 at 09:23.
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