Cats

Nature, June 22 p 480 reports that C. Ottoni et al have recently found two evolutionary lineages of cats through the Neolithic, 10,000 to 5,000 years ago.

They analysed DNA from more than 200 specimens of cat remains from Asia and Africa, from two separate lineages.

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One of these first appeared in sw Asia and had spread into Europe by 4400BC. The other began in Egypt, home of the Bastet goddess culture that spread north into Greece.

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It is unlikely that cats were domesticated in these early stages of cat migration. But they did live in human communities to control vermin and other pests, as they still do in modern Greece.