A free-ranging survey of the huge impact that the domesticated ungulates of the genus Ovis have had on human history. 'This book deserves a place in your bookcase next to Harari's Sapiens. It's every bit as fascinating and is surely destined to be just as successful' Julian NortonFrom the plains of ancient Mesopotamia to the rolling hills of medieval England to the vast sheep farms of modern-day Australia, sheep have been central to the human story.
Starting with our Neolithic ancestors' first forays into sheep-rearing nearly 10,000 years ago, these remarkable animals have fed us, clothed us, changed our diet and languages, helped us to win wars, decorated our homes, and financed the conquest of large swathes of the earth. Enormous fortunes and new, society-changing industries have been made from the fleeces of sheep, and cities shaped by shepherds' markets and meat trading.
Sally Coulthard weaves the fascinating story of sheep into a vivid and colourful tapestry, thickly threaded with engaging anecdotes and remarkable ovine facts, whose multiple strands reflect the deep penetration of these woolly animals into every aspect of human society and culture.
'Sally Coulthard's story of how sheep shaped the human story is full of rich pickings ... She weaves together a detailed story that is full of fascinating social history' Independent
'I absolutely LOVE this ... It's a perfect light-hearted informative history' Philippa Sandall
'You'd never imagine the role sheep have played across the centuries ... The trade in their wool has financed wars; lanolin from their fleeces has fuelled the huge industry in beauty products, and ovine intestines even had a hand in controlling both birth rates and the spread of syphilis. And that's before we get onto jumpers. Or cheese...' Julian Norton, the Yorkshire Vet