The oldest pet cat was found in Parekklisia!

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Social Life
Tradition and Customs

The earliest indication of a pet cat was found at the Neolithic settlement of Shillourokambos by French archaeologists. This indicates that the people of Cyprus kept cats as pets up to 9500 years ago and, in fact, were buried with them.

Until this discovery, the first civilization to grow and keep cats as pets, was considered to be the one of the Egyptians in 2000 - 1900 BC. The new findings in the archaeological site near Parekklisia, suggest that cats were brought up in houses since 9000 - 8000 years BC.

The cat found buried in a grave, just 40 centimeters away from a human skeleton, could be, according to archaeologists, in a semi-wild state, or even fully domesticated. This feline is resembling to African wildcats, so scientists assume that the species was introduced by humans.

It is assumed that cats appeared when, after the development of agriculture, there was an increase in rodents’ population and it was necessary that it would be reduced. The man who was found buried next to the cat, was estimated to be around 30 years old and of high rank in the hierarchy of the society of that era, since several offerings, such as polished stones, axes and ocher pigment, were found in the grave.

The archeologists assume that the cat was killed to be buried with its master. Still, roasted bones were also found at the settlement, which leads to the assumption that these animals were part of people’s diet.

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