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A Brief History of House Cats



A Brief History of House Cats
It may be that "nobody owns a cat," but scientists now say the popular pet has lived with people for 12,000 years


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The domesticated cat

Cats and humans have enjoyed a mostly symbiotic relationship for thousands of years. When and where cats first became domesticated has been a riddle for scientists.

  • Some clues first came from the island of Cyprus in 1983, when archaeologists found a cat's jawbone dating back 8,000 years.
  • In 2004, an older site in Cyprus was unearthed where a cat had been deliberately buried with a human. This made it more certain that the island's ancient cats were domesticated.
  • In 2007, authors of a study declared that cats were first domesticated in the Near East about 12,000 years ago and that they descended from a Middle Eastern wildcat, Felis sylvestris, which means "cat of the woods."



When cats became useful

Cats only became useful to humans when people started to till the ground and store surplus crops. With grain stores came mice, cats were delighted by the abundance of prey, and people were delighted by the pest control.

Over time, as people favored cats with more docile traits, certain cats adapted to this environment, producing dozens of breeds of house cats known today.


Cats over millennia

Cats over millennia
  • The ancient Egyptian reverence for cats is well-known - scientists found a cat cemetery in Beni-Hassan with 300,000 cat mummies. The Egyptian goddess of love, Bastet, has the head of a cat.
  • Ancient Romans held a similar reverence for the cat, which were seen as a symbol of liberty.
  • Cats became demonized in Europe during the Middle Ages. Many were killed in an effort to ward off evil. Only in the 1600s, the public image of cats began to rally in the West.
  • Nowadays, cats are superstars in comic strips and television shows.



Neolithic Jericho

Neolithic Jericho

It is known by some as the world’s oldest city, settled in 9000 BCE. The city and its surrounding areas are believed to be the first places in the world where humans evolved from their hunter-gathe...

Settlement of Early Hunter-Gatherers

It is estimated that the early hunter-gatherers, called ‘Natufians’ settled gradually in this oasis of a city, domesticating dogs and other animals on the way.

Agriculture and farming would have been mostly trial and error, with them noticing the scattered seeds producing edible plants. The ancient figs would probably be the first cultivated crop.

Fermenting Cereals

Some archaeological evidence shows that the Natufians enjoyed alcoholic beverages like beer by fermenting cereals, serving as an initial motivation to farm.

This may have led to advanced agriculture in the ancient civilization, with grains and cereals remaining a better choice due to its ability to be stored, unlike the forage for wild animals and fruits.

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The world's favorite fast food

The world's favorite fast food

Pizza is the world's favorite fast food, with some three billion pizza sold every year in the US alone.

The story of how pizza became so popular reveals much about the history ...

History of Pizza

Pizza - pieces of flatbread, topped with savories - was a simple and tasty meal for those who could not afford plates.

  • Early pizzas appear in Virgil's Aeneid. Aeneas and his crew ate thin wheaten cakes with mushrooms and herbs scattered on them.
  • In the 18th century Naples, pizza as we know it came into being. With a struggling urban economy and a great number of poor inhabitants, they needed food that was cheap and easy to eat. Pizza met this need.

Pizzas were scorned

For a long time, pizzas were associated with poverty and scorned by food writers.

In 1831, Samuel Morse described pizza as a ‘species of the most nauseating cake … covered over with slices of pomodoro or tomatoes, and sprinkled with little fish and black pepper and I know not what other ingredients, it altogether looks like a piece of bread that has been taken reeking out of the sewer.

Jordan Peterson

"You’re not as nice as you think. And you’re not as useless as you think"

Jordan Peterson

The Aim of Living

Psychology Professor Jordan Peterson's self-help book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos provides some out-of-the-box ways of living life, borrowing from the works of Nietzsche, Freud, Jung, and Dostoevsky, which are unconventional sources for this kind of work.

Life as a Tragedy

Jordan Peterson’s view of the world around him is complex, and he tries to simplify this with books.
  • We are just a speck in this huge, complex world, inviting us to be humble. 
  • Happiness, he says, is a pointless goal,
  • Only compare yourself with your yesterday, not with others.