Earliest Directly Dated Archaeological Evidence for Chickens in Africa Discovered in Ethiopia

Archaeologists working in northern Ethiopia have recovered and analyzed the earliest directly dated evidence for chickens in Africa.  Radiocarbon dates on chicken bones and associated charcoal material from the site of Mezber in eastern Tigrai, Ethiopia provide evidence for the presence of domesticated chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus L.) in farming communities living between 800 and 900 BCE.  The find is of great significance for understanding early food production and human exchange and interaction in Eastern Africa and the Red Sea Region three thousand years ago. The publication of the findings by archaeologists Helina Woldekiros (Washington University in Saint Louis, USA) and A. Catherine D'Andrea (Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada) appears in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.

Read more at:

http://phys.org/news/2016-11-africa-oldest-domestic-chicken-bones.html#jCp

Original journal article: 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oa.2540/abstract

  Location of the Mezber archaeological site, northern Ethiopia, where chicken remains excavated. Credit: H. Woldekiros and A. C. D'Andrea in the  International Journal of Osteoarchaeology .    

Location of the Mezber archaeological site, northern Ethiopia, where chicken remains excavated. Credit: H. Woldekiros and A. C. D'Andrea in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.