London, Mar 16: Contrary to a recent advertisement showing a donkey being whipped and controlled by the early man right after he pops Mentos, researchers have suggested the process of donkey domestication must have been much slower and linear. Findings from ten donkey skeletons from three graves dedicated to donkeys in the funerary complex of one of the first Pharaoh's at Abydos, Egypt revealed that donkeys around 5,000 years ago were in an early phase of domestication. They looked like wild animals but displayed joint wear that showed that they were used as domestic animals.
Genetic research suggested African origins for the donkey, the Science Daily quoted lead researcher Fionna Marshall as saying. Knowing the exact time and location for domestication was difficult because signs of early domestication could be hard to see. The findings show that traces of human management could indicate domestication before skeletal or even genetic changes. Domestication of the donkey from the African wild ass was a pivotal point in human history. It transformed ancient transport systems in Africa and Asia and the organisation of early cities and pastoral societies.