Mighty and fierce Vikings in their free time was fun to play with cute kitties. Anyway, to such conclusion have come the archaeologists and geneticists representing Oxford University. As proof of his hypothesis, scientists report the results of a study of the DNA of two hundred four-legged Pets, who lived in different ages.
In order to learn more about the history of the spread of domestic cats around the world, scientists have deciphered the genomes of 209 specimens of the species. The age of the “ancient” species, selected specialists for the study, was about 15 thousand years, while some others studied cats lived, compared to her relatively recently — about 300 years ago. As a result, experts managed to learn some new facts about how were the relations of man and one of the most popular Pets.
As it turned out, the distribution of cats around the world, occurred mainly in two waves. The first wave coincides with the period when people were just beginning to develop agriculture — in all likelihood, the cats at the time helped to fight the rodents that ate seeds for planting. The second wave began with the domestication of cats in Egypt, but key role in it was played by the Vikings on their ships.
In all likelihood, the cats actively transported on ships for two reasons — firstly, the farmers realized that in a new place, they may also need defence from rodents and took the cats with them, and secondly, to catch rats to protect their own inventory often needed and directly on the ship during its journey. However, the cat was clearly for the Vikings anything more than hunters of small rodents — about it in particular, millennial grave, in which the Viking was buried with his pet.
On the obtained findings, the scientists said during the International Symposium on biomolecular archaeology, held at Oxford natural history Museum. They noted that the study of the history of domestication of cats today is dedicated to a smaller number of studies than the history of the domestication of dogs, and expressed hope that their work will inspire other archaeologists and geneticists to fill this gap.
However, we cannot say that the special relation of the Viking cats in the past nothing was known. In particular, it is known that they considered these animals to be the personification of the goddess of love and fertility Freya.
We will remind, recently, another group of experts also addressed in his study of the history and consequences of the expansion of the Earth cats. However, while Australian scientists from Deakin University focused on not the most pleasant consequences of this distribution — according to them, as representatives of invasive species cats destroyed 63 species of domestic animals throughout the world.