Cows came from aurochs 8,500 years ago
Q: From what animals did domestic cows evolve? --"Mac"
A: Modern domestic cattle evolved from a single early ancestor, the aurochs (OW-rocks). These fierce animals stood six feet tall (2
meters) and lived until recent times. In 1627, a poacher hunting on a preserve near Warsaw, Poland killed the last surviving wild auroch.
Today the auroch strain is most evident in Spanish fighting bulls and in Highland and English park cattle.
[Corel] The ancient strain still survives in Highland cattle
Some think auroch domestication took place 10,000 years ago. Neolithic cave paintings depict
aurochs-perhaps as symbols of beauty and strength. We have found remains of domesticated cattle dating
back to 6500 B.C. in Turkey. Folks living in Mesopotania (the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers)
were using cattle both for meat and to pull loads by 3000 B.C. They also learned to milk cattle about then.
A bas-relief picture from that time shows a reed cattle shed and two men sitting on milk stools milking
(Answered by April Holladay, science correspondent, May 1, 2002)
U of Vermont: Animal domestication