CATTLE. When cattle were first tamed no one can say. We know that early man found various types of oxen and bison roaming the wilds o f Europe, Asia, and Africa, and that he killed these for food. A picture of one of these powerful shaggy bison of pre historic times has been preserved for us in the cave of Altamira, Spain. Scholars believe this painting is at least 20,000 years old. It was probably thousands of years after this before men got the idea of taming wild cattle, to serve as his draft animals and as a permanent food supply; but this step had been taken by all the great peoples of antiquity before the beginning of recorded history.
The story of cattle in the Americas begins with the coming of the Europeans, for they did not exist in the New World before that event. Columbus on his second voyage brought cattle to the India islands, and early settlers carried them to the main land. Oxen toiled with the pioneer i n clearing and breaking the farm land that was to be the foundation of the country's prosperity. Oxen drew the prairie schooners west ward when western settlement began, and as late as the close of the Civil War there were over 2,000,000 working oxen in the United States. In Alaska today the ox is an indispensable aid to the settler, drawing the sledge, the cart, and the plow, as he still does in many other parts of the world.
How Men Developed Cattle But with the advance of civilization, cattle became more important as producers of beef and milk; and slopes of the range, while the summits are capped with snow and ice. In the central region there are 900 glaciers, many of which rival those of the Alps in size. There are rich deposits of copper, silver, iron, cobalt, sulphur, quicksilver, and manganese, which have only begun to be tapped. The oil wells in the Baku region are world famous.
There are a great number of peoples represented in Caucasia, as this region is called. The chief ones may be roughly grouped as Russians, Armenians, Tatars, Circassians, and Georgians. In the long struggles for independence of foreign rule, the Georgians and Cir cassians have been the most warlike and defiant.
are connected by a railroad, passing through Tiflis. From Tiflis another branch thrusts southward through Trans Caucasia to Kars and Erivan.
Following the Russian revolution of 1917 and the defeat of Turkey and the Central Powers in the World War, the conquered and oppressed tribes regained their cherished independence. A number of petty republics were set up, of which the chief were North Caucasia, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. (See Europe for map.)