Thousands of years ago, people fed and looked afteranimals only if they could be eaten or they somehow helped them in the household. Cows gave meat and milk, hens were kept for the sake of eggs, and dogs guarded houses from strangers. At least, scientists were sure of this until the moment when the remains of one of the very first domestic cats were found on the territory of Kazakhstan. According to archaeologists, she lived about 1000 years ago, between 775 and 940 years of our era. At the time of her death, she was about a year old, but despite her young age, she no longer had teeth. Scientists believe that the ancient inhabitants of Kazakhstan were among the first people who began caring for useless animals in the household. Apparently, they simply could not resist the cat's charm and over time, the furry creature became a local favorite.
It is important to note, that cats have been domesticated by humans for over 9.5 yearsback. Everything that is written below is relevant only for the peoples who lived in what is now Kazakhstan thousands of years ago. And so, the ancient inhabitants of the island of Cyprus and modern Egypt are considered to be the first peoples that have fallen in love with cats.
First domestic cats
An unusual find of scientists was described inscientific journal Scientific Reports. During excavations in the south of Kazakhstan, archaeologists managed to find almost all the bones of a cat skeleton of the species Felis catus - many of the furry creatures that live in our area belong to it. In particular, researchers unearthed a skull, lower jaw, left shoulder blade, several vertebrae, and other important parts of the cat's body. According to the authors of the scientific work, they manage to find such a complete skeleton very rarely. Most likely, after death, the cat was neatly buried by people, thanks to which her remains all this time remained in one place.
After examining the discovered bones, the researchers came tothe conclusion that the cat had a very difficult life. At least she suffered several fractures, and by the end of her life she had practically no teeth. Without help from humans, the animal would clearly die quickly. She was clearly well fed because researchers found several signs of having high protein foods in her diet. Thanks to the fact that people decided to take her to her, despite all the injuries she received, she lived for more than a year.
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Who are the Oguzes?
The remains of a cat were excavated in the region, throughwhich went the Great Silk Road. This caravan road connected East Asia with the Mediterranean and was used for trade of different nations. Basically, caravans that exported silk from China went along this road - that is why this road is called “silk”. On the territory of the discovery of the remains of cats for some time lived Oguzes - representatives of the Turkic people whohunted by cattle breeding and robbery of merchants. At least this kind of lifestyle is reported by historical data. It seems, despite the dishonest way of life, they were kind to a defenseless cat.
According to researcher Ashleigh Harud (AshleighHaruda), in those days the Oghuzs contained only “useful” animals like cows, hens and dogs. The results of the study change the idea of their life and prove that the Turkic peoples could tame animals not only because they can be eaten and used to facilitate work - animals could become pets only because they are cute.
It is also worth noting that thousands of years ago onthe territory of modern Kazakhstan, cats were extremely rare. Perhaps the cat discovered was taken care of precisely because of its rarity - cattle breeders simply wanted to have some kind of "exotic" animal with them. There is even an assumption that the Oghuz saw a cat while visiting one of the nearby cities. Maybe they even stole it from the merchants - this probability cannot be ruled out either.
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