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Pottery Shards Push Milk-Drinking Back to 6000 B.C.
By Andrea Thompson
The answer to "Got milk?" just got a little older: A new study indicates that people have been milking cattle and other domesticated animals as well as processing and storing milk products for 2,000 years longer than originally thought.
A group of scientists studied thousands of pottery shards from sites all over the Near East and the Balkans and tested them for residues of milk fats.
They found that milk was already being used and processed by societies there by the seventh millennium B.C.
Previously, the earliest evidence of milk use came from the fifth millennium, though cattle, sheep and goats had already been domesticated by the eighth millennium.