was an important animal to humans, during prehistory when it was widely hunted, and in some areas also during historical periods. It is generally agreed to be the wild ancestor of domestic cattle
The last known aurochs died in Poland in 1627. In Britain it seems they disappeared much earlier (possibly due to expanding cultivation and hunting), but there is some conflict in the sources as to when:
- Bronze Age (Wikipedia article on aurochs). The most recent source in the references listed here is 2005. Some of the notes indicate sources more recent than this but these seem to be mostly scientific papers related to breeding. The Wikipedia list of extinct animals of the British Isles gives c.1000 BC.
- Iron Age (ancient-origins.net). This source cites an article in the Telegraph from December 2016.
c. 1500 BC or possibly late Iron Age (Elizabeth Wright). This doctoral thesis is from 2013. She also mentions a late Iron Age find but I have been unable to find an update on this:
Whilst this thesis was being written a very large distal tibia was found in a British Late Iron Age context at Marston Park in Bedfordshire... (Mark Maltby pers. comm.)
Are there any more recent sources which might clarify whether the aurochs became extinct in Britain in the Bronze Age or the Iron Age?