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Department of Archaeology


Publication details for Prof Peter Rowley-Conwy

Larson, G., Dobney, K., Albarella, U. Fang, M., Matisoo-Smith, E., Robins, J., Lowden, S., Finlayson, H., Brand, T., Willerslev, E., Rowley-Conwy, P., Andersson, L. & Cooper, A. (2005). Worldwide phylogeography of wild boar reveals multiple centers of pig domestication. Science 307(5715): 1618-1621.

Author(s) from Durham


Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences from 686 wild and domestic pig specimens place the origin of wild boar in island Southeast Asia (ISEA), where they dispersed across Eurasia. Previous morphological and genetic evidence suggested pig domestication took place in a limited number of locations (principally the Near East and Far East). In contrast, new genetic data reveal multiple centers of domestication across Eurasia and that European, rather than Near Eastern, wild boar are the principal source of modern European domestic pigs.


Presents wholly unique and hitherto unknown evidence for ancient pig domestication across Europe and Asia based on modern genetic evidence from domestic pigs and wild boars.