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Jean M
07-02-2015, 10:27 AM
M. Krajcarz et al., On the Trail of the Oldest Domestic Cat in Poland. An Insight from Morphometry, Ancient DNA and Radiocarbon Dating, International Journal of Osteoarchaeology: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oa.2471/abstract


It is believed on the basis of archaeozoological research that the domestic cat appeared in Central Europe during the Roman Period. In Poland, the domestic cat is a common species in medieval deposits. Only a few finds of cat remains of pre-medieval age have been reported from Poland to date, including several specimens from deposits older than the Roman Period; dated to the pre-Roman Period and even the Bronze Age. To clarify the earliest history of the domestic cat in Poland, the paper presents a review of the available published cat remains, and adds some data about newly discovered remains. Combined methods of morphometry and ancient DNA were applied to enable distinction of wildcats and domestic cats. The domestic cat remains were radiocarbon dated. In six cases of domesticated cat reported in the literature, five were positively taxonomically verified, both by morphology and genetic analysis, and one was recognized as an European wildcat. According to radiocarbon chronology the oldest studied find is dated to the 4th-3rd century BC, and represents a wildcat. Only two individuals of domestic cat skeletons from Łojewo and Sławsko Wielkie, both from Kuyavia region (central-northern Poland) represent the Roman Period (1st-3rd century AD), and they are the oldest confirmed domestic cats in Poland.

MikeWhalen
07-02-2015, 02:53 PM
were they able to tell what kind of 'breed' it was or was it just a super close derivative of wildcat?

Mike

Jean M
07-02-2015, 03:01 PM
were they able to tell what kind of 'breed' it was or was it just a super close derivative of wildcat?


I haven't actually got the paper itself, but another paper gives the global picture:


The world's domestic cats carry patterns of sequence variation in their genome that reflect a history of domestication and breed development. A genetic assessment of 979 domestic cats and their wild progenitors—Felis silvestris silvestris (European wildcat), F. s. lybica (Near Eastern wildcat), F. s. ornata (central Asian wildcat), F. s. cafra (southern African wildcat), and F. s. bieti (Chinese desert cat)—indicated that each wild group represents a distinctive subspecies of Felis silvestris. Further analysis revealed that cats were domesticated in the Near East, probably coincident with agricultural village development in the Fertile Crescent. Domestic cats derive from at least five founders from across this region, whose descendants were transported across the world by human assistance.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/317/5837/519.abstract

MikeWhalen
07-02-2015, 05:08 PM
your the best Jean, thanks!

Mike