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Apart from the dog, the sheep was the first animal domesticated by man (in about 10,000 BC). This pioneering book on the history of our highly profitable relationship combines evidence from every possible source - anthropology, geography, folklore, linguistics, biology and agriculture. The interests of scientists, archaeologists, historians - and general readers - are all kept in view. Wool has been of prime importance throughout man's history, from ancient Babylonia ('Land of Wool') to modern Australia, and a major theme of this book is the author's own research in the variety of fleeces developed by selective breeding. Never before has the sheep, or indeed any domestic animal, been treated on such a wide chronological and geographical scale.
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Dr M L Ryder, a graduate of Leeds University and a Fellow of the Institute of Biology, was formerly Senior Lecturer in Livestock Husbandry at the University of New England in Australia. Since 1962 he has been on the staff of the ARC Animal Breeding Research Organisation in Edinburgh, where he is an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh.
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