Domestication of plants and animals are thought to have happened during the neolithic period, roughly between 13000-7000 years ago. Now I'm interested of the history of using rope and central pole to tether animals like goats on the land, where they can eat grass and form a circular area.

Where and when did tethering of the animals happen? Have anyone tried to trace it, or is it too specific for reseach?

enter image description here

1 Answer 1


Archaeologists may well have discovered very old signs of roped animals, but I do not think history is capable of pinpointing the exact moment it began. For one thing, the Stone Age is not exactly known for its record keeping.

That said, there exists 8,000 year old rock arts of giraffes with a leash. If this was an representation of domestication (potentially plausible, but no definitive evidence AFAIK), then it is not unreasonable to expect that at some point someone might have tied the leash of their pet giraffe to a tree. This doesn't prove they tied anything to wooden posts, however, so it's not exactly what you asked for.

enter image description here

Broadly speaking, the oldest known wood structure remains in Britain is some 10,000 years old, and Stonehenge is thought to have had wooden poles. Rope making is apparently even older. It might thus be reasonable to guesstimate that tying an animal to a post occurred to our ancestors fairly early.

  • 2
    and of course the chances of rope or wooden poles used like that being preserved in such a way that it can be shown conclusively that they were used to restrain animals are extremely slim indeed.
    – jwenting
    Oct 28, 2014 at 14:22
  • Are we sure that's a leash? It could have been mythical or stylistic exaggeration of a giraffe's long tongue. Oct 28, 2014 at 22:42
  • @LateralFractal I read that there are engravings of humans holding the ropes, though I can't personally make it out from the photographs. But no, we aren't sure - it could just be symbolism or a random line.
    – Semaphore
    Oct 28, 2014 at 23:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.