A new research suggests that the ancient hunter-gatherers in Europe acquired domesticated pigs as early as 4600 BC.
The Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, whose meat intake was once limited to wild animal, may have enjoyed bacon, ham, pork chops and other tasty bites from pigs they owned starting about 7,000 years ago, researchers said.
The international team of scientists, including researchers at Durham and Aberdeen universities, said that there was interaction between the hunter-gatherer and farming communities and a ‘sharing’ of animals and knowledge at that time.
The study has provided new insights into the movements and interactions of prehistoric humans and the exchange of technologies and knowledge, scientists said.
It is not yet known whether the hunter-gatherers received the pigs via trade or exchange, or by hunting and capturing escaped animals.
However, the domestic pigs had different coloured and spotted coats that would have seemed strange and exotic to the hunter-gatherers and may have attracted them to domesticate pigs.
The study is published in Nature Communications.