2,000-year-old bone found in the Kalahari
Researchers say they've found the oldest directly dated evidence indicating when cattle were first brought to southern Africa and from where they came.
Scientists working with colleagues from the Botswana National Museum found a domestic cow bone at an excavation site at Toteng in the Kalahari Desert of northern Botswana.
Using the radiocarbon technique, the scientists dated the bone to about 2,000 years ago.
Domestic sheep were also present at Toteng about the same time. Historical and linguistic information suggest northern Botswana figured prominently in the arrival and dispersal of livestock in southern Africa.
The new dates support that theory and confirm a long-term association between people and livestock in that part of the Kalahari.
The findings are to be published in the August/October issue of Current Anthropology.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International