The earliest cat on the Northern Silk Road

Remains of the early medieval cat from Dzhankent (Kazakhstan)

The Dzhankent project directed by Prof. Heinrich Härke (Department of Medieval Archaeology, Institute of Pre- and Protohistory, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen) has led to the identification of the earliest domestic cat yet found in northern Eurasia. 

Since 2011, the site of Dzhankent, located just east of the Aral Sea (Kazakhstan), has been the object of international research and excavations by archaeologists and other specialists from Tübingen, Moscow and the regional Korkyt-Ata State University of Kyzylorda. The sharp-eyed archaeozoologist on the team, Dr. Ashleigh Haruda from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (Germany), spotted the bones of a feline while looking through the large quantities of animal bones from the excavation, and immediately realized the significance of the find.