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Israel’s wild boars descended from Philistine-imported pigs


Genetic analysis carried out on Israel’s wild boars has revealed that the animals are descended from domesticated pigs that were imported by the Philistines 3,000 years ago.

Pig bones have been found in abundance at Philistine archaeological sites along Israel’s southern coastal plane dating from the beginning of the Iron Age, around 1150 to 950 BCE. But pig bones are rare or absent at Iron Age sites in other parts of the country, including in the central hills, where Ancient Israel is thought to have emerged. The researchers set out to determine whether the Philistines and other Sea Peoples — groups of seafaring invaders from around the Aegean Sea — made use of local pig breeds or brought new ones with them from their native lands. Because there is not much difference in the size and the shape between European and Near Eastern pigs, the researchers had to use DNA testing to identify the origins of the animals.

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Story: Science Daily | Photo: Mathieu Guy, Fotolia

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