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Why domesticate sheep?

Why did those early farmers want to domesticate sheep in the first place? It probably wasn't for their wool, as primitive sheep had very hairy skins, with just a thin layer of wool underneath the hair.

Soay sheep, a primitive breed that survives today, look very like the wild sheep domesticated by early Europeans. Perhaps they were kept for their meat, and because they could survive on a poor diet. Whatever the reason, the first domestic sheep were probably tamed by accident - perhaps captured while feeding on crops, or "adopted" as orphans



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Soay sheep
Soay sheep
British Wool Marketing Board

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