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The history of African village chickens: an archaeological and molecular perspective

Mwacharo, J.M.; Bjornstad, G.; Han, J.L; Hanotte, O.

Authors

J.M. Mwacharo

G. Bjornstad

J.L Han

O. Hanotte

Abstract

The history of the introduction and dispersal of village chickens across the African continent is a subject of intense debate and speculation among scholars. Here, we synthesize and summarise the current scientific genetic and nongenetic knowledge in relation to the history of the species on the continent. Sociocultural, linguistic, archaeological and historic data all suggest a complex history for the species in Africa, characterized by multiple maritime and/or terrestrial introductions over time and several dispersal routes towards and within Africa. Molecular genetics information supports these observations and in addition suggests possible Asian centers of origin for African domestic chickens, including South Asia and Island Southeast Asia. However, both sets of data were until now too limited in their geographic scope, both within Africa and in comparison with chickens from Asia, to unravel the history of the species in detail. We anticipate that further continent-wide studies combining archaeological, ancient and/or modern genetic information may shed new insights on the history of the species. These will contribute to a deeper understanding of the history of trading networks and human interactions within Africa and between African and Asian societies, at the root of the development and expansion of African civilizations.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 1, 2013
Journal African Archaeological Review
Print ISSN 0263-0338
Electronic ISSN 0263-0338
Publisher Humana Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 1
Institution Citation Mwacharo, J., Bjornstad, G., Han, J., & Hanotte, O. (2013). The history of African village chickens: an archaeological and molecular perspective. African Archaeological Review, 30(1), doi:10.1007/s10437-013-9128-1
DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/s10437-013-9128-1
Keywords Africa; Chicken; Gallus gallus; Migration; Trading routes
Publisher URL http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10437-013-9128-1#
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0




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